§ MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN (Mayo, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called by the Board of Guardians of Claremorris Union, in the county of Mayo, to the imminence of distress in their district, and if he has made inquiries respecting it; whether the Claremorris Board of Guardians have pointed out to him certain most desirable works capable of conferring vast benefits 133 on the surrounding country, lowering the beds of rivers which now periodically flood the district widely, the River Robe and the River Clare, the lowering of whose beds would afford the employment necessary to avert distress in the most congested portion of that part of the country; and what he proposes to do in the matter? I beg further to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention has been drawn by the Board of Guardians of Ballinrobe Union, in the county of Mayo, to the urgent necessity of employment in a portion of the Union, from Partry to Tourmakeady, where the potato crop has been destroyed, and other crops also are very inferior; whether the Board of Guardians have suggested to him a work of great importance, and calculated to confer much benefit on the district, viz., the connection of Lough Mask and the river Robe, a work begun 40 years ago, and nearly completed when it was abandoned; and what he proposes to do in the matter? Also whether his attention has been called to the threatened famine in the Ballyglass portion of the Ballinrobe Union, county of Mayo, the potato crop having almost entirely failed there, while the place is too remote from any of the proposed Light Railway schemes to benefit by such works; whether his attention has been called to a very necessary work for that locality, viz., the draining of three small lakes which lie near together, and which in summer time are reduced to unhealthy swamps; whether it has been pointed out to him that the drainage of those lakes is easy of accomplishment, and is a work calculated to afford the employment necessary to relieve the locality from the impending distress; and, what he proposes to do in the matter?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Government do not apprehend anything of a nature which could be described as famine in the district referred to. I may, however, note there is a railway in process of construction from Ballinrobe to Claremorris. Attention has not been called to the drainage works alluded to.