MR. O'KEEFFE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries gave public notice of their intention to hold inquiries at Athlone, Killaloe, and Limerick, as to what effect the works proposed under the Shannon Drainage Bill would have on the Shannon fisheries; that the Board of Works, in a letter dated 9th July ultimo, promised to have one of their engineer present at the inquiry to explain the nature and extent of the proposed works, of which the Shannon Fishery Conservators were left in ignorance; and that on the faith of this promised information a large number of landed and riparian proprietors, conservators, professional gentlemen, and fishermen had come long distances, at great personal inconvenience, to attend the first of these inquiries at Athlone on Wednesday, 31st ultimo; whether the Board of Works were represented at this meeting; and, if not, in face of their summons, to explain absence; whether the meeting proved abortive in the absence of the information which could be supplied only by the Board of Works; and, whether he would direct the Board of Works to give reasonable compensation to the professional gentlemen and other witnesses who attended the inquiry, for personal expenses and loss of time occasioned by a breach of faith on the part of the Board.
§ * THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON, Leeds, N.)
The absence of the Board of Works representative was, I am informed, due to the fact that the date of the inquiry had been altered to the 31st ultimo, and the notification of the alteration miscarried owing to the absence of the Chief Engineer in London on a Parliamentary Committee. The Fishery Commissioners had, however, already been furnished with all plans and available information; and, under these circumstances, I cannot admit any liability on the part of the Board of Works for the expense caused by the adjournment.