HC Deb 29 July 1889 vol 338 cc1579-80
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if it is a fact that the Commissioners of Public Works, Ireland, have recently communicated with the Grand Jury of County Cork with a view to the latter body taking over the Ballycotton Harbour Works; that the Grand Jury, acting on the Report of the County Surveyor, have refused to assume the responsibility of taking up these works; and, if he can state if any steps are being taken meanwhile to place the pier under the control of some responsible person? I also wish to ask whether the attention of the hon. Gentleman has been called to the Report of Mr. Wolfe Barry, with reference to this pier, in which he recommends that the old pier be removed; that the holes or splits in the wall towards the sea be filled up with cement bags; that the paving, where sunk, be taken up and relaid evenly; that a layer of sound concrete be placed under the pavement instead of the stuff which is there, and which has been condemned; and that galvanised iron bands be placed round the pierhead to prevent it from falling; and, will he state whether the Irish Board of Works have taken any steps towards remedying the works specified in the Report of Mr. Wolfe Barry?


I am informed that, the harbour of Bally-cotton having been legally handed over to the Grand Jury of the County of Cork, that body cannot by a Resolution divest itself of the responsibility for the harbour after the transfer, and is, in fact, now legally responsible for it. I do not think that the terms of the hon. Member's question accurately represent the recommendations made by Mr. Wolfe Barry, nor could I deal with them within the limits of an answer to a question. It will probably be sufficient if I state that tenders have been called for for the deepening of the harbour where recommended by Mr. Barry, and that that work will be first carried out. As regards the present condition of the pier, perhaps the hon. Member has not seen the annual Report of the Board of Works for 1888–9, recently circulated, which shows that there has been no alteration in the levels of the pier since the date of Mr. Barry's visit.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the Report of Mr. J. Wolfe Barry, the very eminent engineer, was made in December of last year, and that nothing has since been done to carry out a single one of the recommendations made by Mr. Barry; and, furthermore, that the Grand Jury, in their Report last week, state that depressions are becoming greater, and that the pier is falling more and more into a dilapidated condition daily?


I have not seen the Report of the Grand Jury to which the hon. Member refers; but I am prepared to say of my own knowledge, after having investigated the circumstances myself, that the representations made in regard to this harbour are exceedingly exaggerated. Since Mr. Barry's Report in December last no inconvenience has been occasioned in carrying out his recommendation. There have, however, been some technical difficulties in the way; but they have not been of such a nature as to prevent the necessary improvements from being proceeded with.


I beg to give notice that at the proper time I will enter into this matter.