HC Deb 13 August 1896 vol 44 cc732-3

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, on or about the 9th July, a very heavy rainfall occurred in County Cavan, which had the effect of raising the water in the upper part of Lough Erne a depth of two feet, resulting in the flooding of all low-lying meadows, corn and potato crops, about Belturbet, Ballyconnell, Bawnboy, and Swanlinbar; whether the flood gates at Belleek were kept closed from the 9th to the 27th July, thereby retaining the flood water, and adding to the grievous injury complained of; could he state in whose hands the management of these flood gates rests; and, is there no legal remedy against them at the hands of the farmers living along the lake and River Erne whose crops have been injured?


The management of the gates rests with the Lough Erne Drainage Board, from whose secretary the Board of Works have received the following telegram:—"All sluice gates at Belleek were closed from the 9th to the 18th July. The upper Lough Erne was one foot five inches below the ordnance level on the 9th July, gradually raising to seven inches below on the 18th, when the gates were opened. The ordnance level was only reached on the 28th. Sluice gates are worked by a competent engineer, under rules drawn up by the Drainage Maintenance Board. The Drainage Board has no record of the rainfall in the County Cavan." I understand that the ordnance level referred to in the telegram is the ordinary summer level, below which the Drainage Board try to keep the water. They have a telephone communication between the upper lake and the sluices at Belleek, so as to be able to report the state of the water and take the necessary measures at Belleek. As regards the legal point, the Board of Works are advised that any person injured through negligence of the Drainage Board or their servants in charge of the sluices has a remedy at law against the Drainage Board.

MR. VESEY KNOX (Londonderry)

was understood to ask whether, during the Recess, the right hon. Gentleman would look into the management of the Drainage Board?


asked the hon. Member to remind him of the subject.