HC Deb 24 March 1898 vol 55 cc740-1
MR. W. H. K. REDMOND (Clare, E.)

On behalf of the hon. Member for South Roscommon, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under what conditions has a Government Grant of £9,500 been made to the Shannon Development Company; has this company carried out the conditions on which Government and the counties granted them £20,900; was part of these conditions that they should provide a daily passenger service between Killaloe and Dromod, and a cross service between Scariff and Dromineer, and how far have they done so; is he aware that this company only put four small and unsuitable steamers of sixty feet long on the river; on what grounds has the Board of Works issued a certificate that this company has carried out its conditions with the Government, which certificate has compelled the counties to pay their portion of the grant greatly against their inclination; and will the Government order the withdrawal of the certificate?


The conditions on which the Government Grant has been made to the company are contained in the agreement between the company and the Commissioners of Public Works. A copy of the agreement and of the several Grand Jury Presentments will be laid on the Table of the House. The Board of Works have certified that the company has carried out its contract with the Government. It rests with the county authorities to say if the obligations imposed by the Presentments have been carried out. The service between Killaloe and Dromod was divided, with the consent of the parties, as provided by one of the clauses in the agreement, into two sections, with Athlone as a centre, it having been found that the through service between the extreme points could not be worked with safety or convenience. The company has also provided special services, including cross services on Lough Derg, so far as the Commissioners of Public Works have considered necessary. The two steamers generally used between Killaloe and Athlone are as large as could pass through the locks between Limerick and Killaloe. The smaller boat used between Athlone and Dromod is suitable for the work, and the fourth steamer is a launch used for local purposes on Lough Derg. The Board of Works have issued their certificate, because that Department is satisfied the company has carried out its conditions with the Government.