HC Deb 05 March 1896 vol 38 cc204-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, (1) whether any plan could be devised to prevent the Wicklow Copper Mines (not worked for 40 years) from polluting and poisoning the Rivers Avonmore and Avonbeg, flowing as one river into the sea at Arklow, County Wicklow, with pumpings from their disused mines, which is destroying valuable salmon fisheries, and injuring tourist and railway traffic; (2) if he will cause inquiry to be made whether the landlords owning property along the banks of the river would give their land free for a separate channel to be made for the poisoned water to the sea; and, (3) would the Government advance money for the work, during distressed periods, for the people until the work was completed?


As to the first paragraph it seems to be a question of law whether or not the owners of the mines could be compelled to desist, from discharging polluted waters into the rivers, thus throwing on them the onus of providing means for getting rid of the polluting discharges. With regard to the second and third paragraphs, this appears to be a matter in which those locally interested should first move. If a practicable scheme be laid before Government it would be considered.