HC Deb 01 April 1895 vol 32 cc584-7
MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN (Mayo, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether, though Dr. Flynn, Local Government Board Inspector, reported to him that acute or exceptional distress does not exist in Claremorris Union, portions of it, such as Murneen, Cultebo, Kilvine, Ballindine, Aughamore, and Ballyhaunis, are very poor and distressed, he is aware that a portion of Aughamore is in Swinford Union, and is a most congested district; (2) whether he has been informed that the priests who were anxiously awaiting Dr. Flynn's visit did not know that he had been through Murneen and Aughamore; (3) whether he is aware that in Knock South all the people have applied for seed, that this is a congested division, that out-door relief is always high, that the potatoes totally failed, that the people have no stock, that roads are much wanted, that the people go thence to Kiltimagh, eight miles to and from, to get employment at 7s. per week; (4) whether Dr. Flynn saw in Drum Town-land a family with nine children, having a large holding without a four-footed beast, and whose only food was Indian meal; and in the Townland of Coogna the inspector did not see even one beast or a pit of potatoes; (5) whether he is aware that the people followed the inspector into Ballyhaunis asking for work at any wages to save their families from starvation; and (6) whether, seeing the general distrust of Dr. Flynn's Report, he will have an inspection made at once by some other inspector?


(1) It would appear from the inspector's reports that while there are a number of poor persons in Claremorris Union at the present time, there is nothing approaching to general or widespread destitution, and the resources of the poor law are so far able to deal with any cases of distress that exist. Aughamore Electoral Division referred to in the question is in Swinford Union, and works have been opened there. (2) The inspector, Dr. Flynn, during his inspection, which lasted fully a week, met and conferred with several clergymen and members of the Board of Guardians. (3) The Local Government Board are not aware whether all the people applied for seed potatoes in Knock South Electoral Division, but they state that the Guardians proposed to give a supply to 104 families. (4) Individual cases of poverty such as that mentioned in the Townland of Drum will, unhappily, be found in the west of Ireland even in years of comparative plenty, but such cases are exceptional, and may be relieved by the existing law. (5) The inspector states that it is not a fact that any persons followed him into Ballyhaunis asking for work to save their families from starvation. (6) The Local Government Board have had conferences with Dr. Flynn about this district, and also with the inspector who had charge of it for many years and who recently reported on the Union. The Board do not think at present any necessity for opening relief works can be shown to exist. They have, however, required the inspector to frequently visit the district, and there appear to be no sufficient grounds for directing another inspector to make a further inspection and report.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would get the inspector to pay more careful attention to the difference between outdoor relief in different districts. In some districts out-door relief was 1s. 6d. on a high valuation, and in other districts it was 40s. on a low valuation?


I pay as much attention to these matters as I think they require. So far as out-door relief for this union is concerned, no doubt there are a great many divisions where out-door relief is much increased on what it was before; but taking the Union as a whole, there are 300 fewer cases than in the corresponding period of last year. I can assure my hon. Friend that I have kept as close an observation on those cases, as far as one can from London, and in any case I have perfect confidence in the officials.

MR. J. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he has received a copy of the resolution, adopted by the Bawnboy Board of Guardians at their last meeting, and the report made by their acting relieving officer that in the divisions of Cloverhill and Garradice, in South Leitrim, he found 96 families in deep distress, many of them without fuel and clothing, and all of them willing to work; and whether he can state if relief works have been started in these distressed districts?


A copy of the resolution in question has been received. I stated in reply to the somewhat similar question addressed to me on Thursday last, that relief works have been opened for the people of these divisions; that some 29 persons from Cloverhill have been placed on the list for employment on the works; and that the inspector has been instructed to visit and report on the other portions of the unions in which works have not been opened.


On behalf of the hon. Member for North Galway (Colonel Nolan), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if the inspector whom he promised he would send to Tuam has yet made his report, and if any relief works have been started in the Tuam Union?


The report of the inspector was duly received by me, but the Local Government Board do not consider that the condition and circumstances of the people in this union are such as to render necessary the opening of relief works.


On behalf of Colonel Nolan, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he has received reports that distress exists in the Glenamaddy Union; and if he has commenced any relief works in the Barony of Ballymore?


Representations have been received alleging the existence of distress in various parts of this Union, and these have formed the subject of investigation by the Local Government Board's Inspector. The Board inform me that they have been unable to find any evidence of the existence of abnormal distress in the Union, and no relief works have consequently been opened.

MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the death from exposure and cold of Cornelius Rudden in the mountain pass between Donagh and the Illies, in Donegal, on the 28th February, and to the finding of the jury as to the necessity for a road at the place; and whether he will direct an inquiry as to the traffic and to the possibility of finding means to make or aid in making such a road?


I have received a report of the occurrence referred to. There is no distress in the locality such as to justify the construction of a road at this place as a relief work, but I shall refer the matter to the Congested Districts Board for further inquiry.


On behalf of Colonel Nolan, I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if any assessment made on account of payment towards the cost of the Suck Drainage can be appealed from, particularly as to the size of the area on which the assessment is made; and if, in the case of small holders of land, the Board of Works will postpone levies during this year of distress?


The Acts under which the Board of Works make final awards in cases like the Suck Arterial Drainage do not provide for appeal. No undue pressure will be used in collecting instalments from small holders of land.