§ MR. J. ROCHE (Galway, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the distress prevailing in the Ballinasloe district; whether he is aware that the people of that town have already subscribed over, £100 to alleviate the distress; and whether he will state what steps, if any, he has taken to prevent a continuance of it?
MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
I have received copies of Resolutions passed by the Ballinasloe Guardians and other bodies, on the subject of distress which is alleged to exist in parts of the Union. The Local Government Board's Inspector in charge of the Union has been directed to visit the locality, and report the result of his investigations.
§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Kerry, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the acute distress prevailing in the Tralee Union, in County Kerry; and whether, in view of the want of employment from which the labourers of the district are suffering, and the inability of the ratepayers of the district to come to their relief by reason of their heavy tavation, he will consider the advisability of immediately providing employment for the labourers in the repairing of the roads, or in some other way, so as to provide employment for them until such time as the ratepayers of the district can provide them with other work?
MR. G. RUSSELL
It is the fact that the labouring classes in Tralee and other towns in Kerry are suffering hardships in consequence of the severity of the weather, and distress among these classes is, I regret to say, not confined to the West of Ireland. It has never been the practice of Government, however, to 1474 open relief works for town labourers. My right hon. Friend stated, in reply to a question addressed to him on the 21st inst., that labourers in towns are relieved under the ordinary Poor Law, and that the object of the relief works opened, or to be opened, in Ireland is to afford relief to small landholders who are precluded from availing themselves of the ordinary means of obtaining outdoor relief open to other persons.
§ Mr. D. SHEEHY (Galway, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has received a copy of a resolution passed by the Loughrea Board of Guardians, at its meeting on the 19th instant, in which great destitution is declared to exist in certain districts in the union, and drawing his attention to the necessity of constructing a light railway from Loughrea to Woodford as a useful means of giving needed employment in the distressed districts; and whether he will give the matter his earliest consideration.
Mr. GEORGE RUSSELL
My attention has been drawn to the resolution referred to. I am informed by the Local Government Board that the Loughrea Union is generally well circumstanced, with moderate rates, and that upon the information at present before the Board they have no reason to believe that there is any general destitution in the Union of such a nature as would justify the opening of Relief Works.