§ MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he is aware that Carrakout River, which forms part of the boundary line between the Counties of Fermanagh and Monaghan, flows across a main public road connecting these counties at a point near Knockatallon, and when flooded causes a complete interruption of the public traffic, and becomes a very serious danger to public life itself; whether the inhabitants of the districts of both counties most interested have been for several years endeavouring to cause the proper authorities to construct a bridge at this point; whether he is aware that although the Road Session of County Fermanagh long ago decided to construct half of such a bridge, the County Monaghan Road Sessions have refused to do so, although repeatedly memorialized by the principal cesspayers and the general public in the districts most interested during the past two years, and as late as November last, when they were advised to do so by Mr. Carroll, County Surveyor, to co-operate to have a bridge built; whether he can state the grounds upon which they refused compliance with the wish of the cesspayers; and, whether the Government have power, and, if so, will they exercise it, to induce or compel the Road Session for the safety of the public life to construct their part of the proposed bridge?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) (Dublin University)
said: As regards the circumstances connected with the river and the inconvenience caused by 1571 the want of a bridge, I believe that the facts are substantially as stated; but I am not aware that the danger is so serious as is suggested. As to the efforts which have been made to remedy the existing state of things, I am informed that a presentment for building the half of a bridge across the river was made at the proper Road Sessions in County Fermanagh in October, 1883, certified for at the Spring Assizes, 1884, and rejected at the Summer Assizes, 1884, in consequence of the want of co-operation on the part of the County Monaghan authorities, and that no application has since been made to the Fermanagh Grand Jury. I am also informed that a presentment for building one-half of the bridge came several times before the proper Road Sessions in the County Monaghan, and was either rejected there or by the Grand Jury at the Assizes; and that a similar presentment came before the last Road Sessions in Monaghan on the 30th November, and was unanimously rejected by the five Justices and five associated cesspayers present upon the ground of the expense. The Government have no power to compel the Road Sessions to construct part of the proposed bridge, or to interfere with their decisions. I may, however, add that (under the provisions of 4 & 5 Will. IV., c. 61) it is in the power of either the Fermanagh or the Monaghan Grand Jury to present a Memorial to the Lord Lieutenant praying that the powers of that Act may be put in force. The Lord Lieutenant thereupon may order an inquiry by the Board of Works, or other persons; and if such inquiry results in a representation in favour of the construction of the bridge he may direct the work to be executed, and the expense to be apportioned between the two counties. If this procedure be adopted, I have no doubt that any Memorial presented to the Lord Lieutenant will receive careful consideration.