HC Deb 09 April 1897 vol 48 cc848-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland how much of the money allocated for the extension of light railway systems in Ireland is still available for schemes now proposed but not decided on; and will the Government in the present Session apply to Parliament for the allocation of any moneys that may be required for the further extension of light railways in Ireland?


The amount at present provisionally allocated to schemes under the Railways Act of last year does not leave any surplus available for other schemes. It is not the intention of Government to apply to Parliament for additional funds during the present Session.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, in consequence of the resolution of the Grand Jury of Clare, at the Spring Assizes of 1896, asking for Government support for a railway connecting Lisdoonvarna with Ennistymon, and for a, railway connecting Ennis with Scarriff, the Government, after inquiry, offered a free grant of money; and, if so, would he state the amount, and on what conditions; whether the railway project was rejected by the Grand Jury of Clare, although supported by the railway committee of the Grand Jury and every representative body in the district; and what steps does he now propose to take; and can he see his way to hold over the grant until a more impartial jury can be summoned to reconsider the matter?


The offer made by the Government was that the construction of the line from Ennis to Scarriff would be recommended to the Treasury under the Act of 1896, provided that one-half of the estimated cost of construction and equipment of the line, amounting in all to £125,000, were raised locally, and that a resolution in favour of the scheme were passed by a decisive majority of the Grand Jury. Subject to the fulfilment of these conditions, the Government was prepared to defray the other moiety of the estimated cost of construction. The scheme, however, was rejected by the Grand Jury. I believe the railway committee was in favour of it. The grant cannot now be held over, as negotiations are in progress for otherwise disposing of the money.