HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1204-5

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that, early in 1885, the Irish Piers and Harbours Commissioners made grants of £1,250 and £400 for the construction respectively of a boat-slip and breakwater at Killer-duff, and of an inclined approach to the landing place at Polnamuck, both in the parish of Ballycastle, county Mayo; whether it is a fact that, although nearly a year has expired, the Board of Works in Ireland has not as yet even commenced the construction of the works in question; and, whether, if the facts be as stated, he, in view of the severe distress existing on the Western Coast, will use his influence, as President of the Board of Works, to hasten the beginning of these undertakings, which would, by providing local labour, relieve local distress, and which, would, when they were finished, advance the interests and protect the lives and property of the local fishermen?


The hon. Member, in describing me as President of the Board of Works, invests me with a responsibility which I do not possess. That Department is under the control of the Treasury, and not of the Irish Government. However, the Board have furnished me with a Report, from which it appears that the recommendations of the Piers and Harbours Commissioners in these cases were made, not early in 1885, but in the month of July last, and that the working plans and necessary legal preliminaries were not completed till towards the end of the year. There will be no unnecessary delay in beginning work. I am glad, to be able to add that, in view of the existing distress, the Board have departed from the usual course of calling for tenders, and have ordered that, in 17 cases, the works shall be executed by day-labour, under the supervision of their own officers.