HC Deb 13 March 1894 vol 22 c143
SIR T. ESMONDE (Kerry, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to a recent statement of Mr. Justice O'Brien, at the County Kerry Spring Assizes, in which he stated, with reference to the Tralee and Dingle Railway, and in connection with the taxation which it has brought upon the guaranteeing baronies, that it was his strong opinion that the County Kerry ratepayers were not responsible for what has caused this rate—namely, the Camp Bridge accident; that it was quite clear that either from defective inspection of the Board of Trade, or from want of proper vigilance in the supervision of the construction of the line, the great loss (i.e. the Camp Bridge accident) had fallen upon the county; that it was certainly a terrible thing to think of the great burden this rate had cast upon the barony through which this railway passes, to be levied upon the humblest class of persons engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county; and that, if a change is to be made in this railway, it has occurred to him to suggest that certainly the damages, which are the subject of this presentment, might reasonably be met by the Government; if the Chief Secretary is aware that the district through which this railway runs is scheduled as a "congested district;" and whether, in view of the exceptional nature of the case, he will advise the Treasury to grant a loan of £5,000 to the County Kerry Grand Jury, repayable in half-yearly instalments, to meet the charge for the damages of the Camp Bridge accident, and which must otherwise be levied in a tax of 5s. in the £1 upon one of the poorest communities in the whole of Ireland?


I am advised that the County Kerry Grand Jury have no power to borrow, nor the Treasury to lend, money for the purpose in question. I, however, fully sympathise with the inhabitants of the district, an admittedly poor one, on whom an unexpected burden has been thrown through the railway accident referred to, and I will communicate with the hon. Baronet for certain particulars, with a view to further considering whether any action is practicable to lighten that burden.