MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the working plans of the West Donegal Extension Railway, covering a distance of only 18 miles, and a survey of the lands required for that railway, which must be lodged, together with a valuation of such lands, in the offices of the Board of Works and Clerks of Union affected before an arbitrator can be appointed to settle the compensation for same, were commenced nine months ago and have not yet been so lodged; whether, in the month of December last, the company obtained lands under the exceptional provisions of the Transfer of Railways Act by tendering compensation which all but four of the occupiers considered insufficient, and commenced work thereon, thereby causing great inconvenience and the loss to the occupiers of the use of their lands for this season for cropping and other purposes; whether his attention has been called to the fact that in consequence of the delay in completing and lodging the working plans and valuations the appointment of an arbitrator is deferred and the making of the railway postponed; and whether he can take any steps to secure that the relief which will be afforded by these works may be shortly secured to the distressed population of a congested district?
§ MR. JACKSON
The working plans, drawings, and designs of the West Donegal Extension Railway have now been completed. Having to provide special plans for detached portions in order to afford work during winter delayed the completion. An arbitrator will, it is anticipated, be appointed on Monday next. The company obtained, in December last, portions of land absolutely necessary to enable as large a number as was necessary to be employed. No inconvenience, other than that attendant on every such work, and no loss whatever have accrued to the occupiers who refused to accept the valuer's award, as they will be paid interest on whatever sum they are awarded by the arbitrator from the date on which the 293 contractor entered on their lands, and they pay no rent for the portion taken from the same date.