HC Deb 16 March 1891 vol 351 cc1069-70
MR. KNOX (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the relief works are about to be commenced at last in the County Cavan; and whether he will include among those works the roads for which presentments were refused by the Grand Jury, owing to the promise of the Government to start relief works?


I have not, as yet, been able to obtain Reports on this question; but in regard to the last paragraph, I have to say that I would strongly advise any Grand Jury to construct the works which they think are required in a county without consulting the action the Government may think it necessary to take.

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 to the condition of a vast proportion of the population of the Gweedore district of Dunfanaghy Union; whether any part of Ireland can show a worse condition than is to be found in the Meenacladdy, Bloodyforeland, and Brinlack portions of this district; what measures he proposes for the relief of this misery; whether his attention has been called to the consequences that must result next year owing to the fact that no seed potatoes have been provided for the Gweedore district, and whether he purposes making provision to prevent the famine that must ensue next year if seed be not promptly provided now; and whether it is by any fault of the Poor Law Guardians of the district that no seed has been provided; and, if so, whether he can compel this Board of Guardians to perform their duty in this crisis, or whether he will take steps to save the people from the consequences of their neglect?


Careful attention is being paid to the condition of the Gweedore and other districts in the Dunfanaghy Union. Serious injury must undoubtedly result to the Gweedore people if they persist in their refusal to apply for seed potatoes. No blame appears to attach to the Board of Guardians in the matter. On the contrary, the Guardian who resides in the district had the necessary notices posted, detailing the steps to be taken to obtain a supply of seed; but not a single application was made. It is said that the parish priest, the Rev. James M'Fadden, has taken upon himself the responsibility of advising his people not to apply for any seed from the Guardians, and, if this be so, upon him must rest the responsibility for the results. The time within which seed potatoes may be obtained has been extended in this and certain other Unions up to April 2.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has considered the deep distress prevailing among the numerous small farmers in Kiltullagh and Ballinlough, in the Castlerea Union, County Roscommon; and what measures he proposes in order to afford them relief?


The condition of this district is engaging the attention of the Government.

In reply to Mr. HOWORTH (Salford, S.),


said: For the general scheme of railway construction in Ireland the Government are, on the whole, responsible, and primarily, of course, the Irish Government. The work, however, has to be constructed and negotiations carried on with the Board of Works, who are not under the Irish Government. Those are not circumstances which, in the ordinary course, would lead to a successful prosecution of novel and arduous business; but the Board of Works, as a matter of fact, have shown the greatest zeal and energy in carrying out the instructions or recommendations which I have made to them, and not only am I personally, but the public also, under a deep debt of gratitude to the Board of Works for what they have done in the matter.