§ MR. J. TUITE (Westmeath, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, (1) Can he state what steps the Midland Great Western Railway Company of Ireland, as owners of the Royal Canal, are taking to repair the serious breach which occurred in the canal on Tuesday last by the falling in or subsidence of a tunnel over which the waterway passes near Killucan; (2) is he aware that, owing to the great leakage of water through the broken arch of the tunnel, the surrounding country has been flooded, and all traffic on the canal between Dublin and Mullingar, Longford, Ballymahon, &c., suspended since the occurrence; and, (3) whether, as the old 169 tunnel which has given way was constructed of wood, the Board of Trade will insist on the Company replacing it by a proper one formed of stone or brickwork, so as to prevent a similar accident in the future.
§ MR. RITCHIE
The Board of Trade have no information as to the matters referred to in the first and second paragraphs of the hon. Member's question, but are in communication with the Company on the subject. With regard to the third paragraph the Board have no power to insist on the Canal Company replacing a wooden tunnel by a brick one. The Inspecting Officer has completed his inspection of the navigation, and I expect to receive his report shortly.