HC Deb 11 March 1895 vol 31 cc754-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the distress existing in the Tulla union, County Clare; and whether he will consider the advisability of spending some of the grant for relief of distress in Ireland in the Tulla district?


The Inspector of the Local Government Board has recently visited this union, but so far as can be ascertained there is no abnormal distress at present such as would render it necessary to open relief works.

MR. L. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he has received from the Guardians of the Castlerea Union a copy of a Resolution, unanimously adopted by them on the 2nd instant (several clergymen attending the meeting), in which they urgently press before the Local Government Board and the Chief Secretary the necessity for public works in the district, particularly in the parishes of Kiltullagh and Loughglynn, which are very congested, and in which abundance of work can be provided by roadmaking, and by the drainage of the Lung river and tributaries and the tributaries of the Suck; and also calling upon the Congested Districts Board to immediately set on foot in the two congested districts works of public utility, as they have done absolutely nothing in that direction up to the present; (2) whether he has had placed before him a scheme for a line of railway running through this district from Castlerea to Ballaghaderreen, on which it is proposed to expend £80,000, provided the sanction of the Government can be obtained to a maximum guarantee of £600 per annum; (3) whether it has been represented to him that only the Treasury consent is necessary to have this important work commenced immediately; and (4) whether, in view of the necessity for providing employment during the summer, he will recommend the Treasury to consent to the proposal with as little delay as possible?


I have been furnished with a copy of the Resolution referred to in the first part of the question. The Local Government Board state that, owing to the severe winter and the partial failure of the potato crop, a number of small landholders and labourers are in straitened circumstances, but with a continuance of the present mild weather the outlook should much improve. The Guardians have been authorised to relax the restrictions on outdoor relief, and the Local Government Board are of opinion that cases of destitution can, for the present at all events, be met by this extension of the Poor Law. The Board's Inspector will again visit this union shortly. With regard to the scheme for a line of railway between the places mentioned, the Irish Government has received from the Treasury a communication stating that their powers to contribute to baronial guarantees, under the Tramways Act of 1883, are exhausted, and the promoters of the scheme have been so informed.

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

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he has received at the Local Government Board a Memorial from the inhabitants of Clondavaddog and Killygarvan, in the Milford union, praying for assistance towards the making of a road across Knockalla Mountain; (2) whether he is aware that the late Chief Secretary admitted in 1891 the need of the road, but stated that it could not be undertaken as a relief work, as destitution did not exist in the district; and that the Congested Districts Board has promised to contribute to the expense; and, (3) whether in view of his own statement as to the condition of Glenvar and the neighbourhood, he will consider the propriety of furnishing the balance of the expense as a measure of relief?


I have received the Memorial referred to in the first paragraph. The road in question would, I understand, be a very useful one, and the Congested Districts Board have agreed to contribute to the expense of making it, if undertaken by the county; but, so far as the Local Government Board, are aware, there is no unusual distress in this part of the Milford union such as to render the opening of relief works necessary. It has been decided that a number of fishermen in Glenvar may be offered employment on the relief works to be opened in the Termon district, but this is an exceptional measure, and arises from the losses sustained by these men during the recent storms.


May I ask whether the Local Government Board reported a serious distress among the purely agricultural population?


Of course I am informed there is distress, but not such as to justify interference beyond the ordinary Poor Law.

MR. D. KILBRIDE (Kerry, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether his attention has been directed to the Memorial presented to the Kenmore Board of Guardians by the inhabitants of the townlahds of Staigue and Liss, electoral division of Castle Cove, which was forwarded to the Local Government Board, stating the necessity that exists for some employment in this district, to enable the people to maintain themselves and their families; (2) whether he is aware that a road in the townland of Liss, commenced by the late Government as a relief work, is still unfinished, and, whether, having regard to the distress in the locality, he will direct immediate steps to be taken to have this work completed; and (3) whether he is aware that the Congested Districts Board are giving no employment in this neighbourhood at present, the pier at West Cove being completed last summer?


Representations have been made alleging the existence of distress in parts of the Kenmare Union, but the Local Government Board, upon the information at present before them, see no sufficient ground for anticipating the occurrence of destitution of such a character as to justify the opening of relief works. In some of the poorer districts about Sneem the partial failure of the potato crop renders it necessary for some of the smaller landholders to seek relief, and should this be so the Guardians will be authorised to extend outdoor relief to these classes. I understand that at Derrynane, in the vicinity of West Cove, works are at present being carried out by the Congested Districts Board.