HC Deb 16 February 1900 vol 79 cc231-2

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury how the ruins of the stone forts on the north, middle, and south islands of Arran, in the county of Galway, not being churches or ecclesiastical buildings or structures within the meaning of the Trish Church Act, 1869, Section 25, became vested in the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, as they appear to be, according to the schedule to their report issued in 1895. Whether there is any and, if so, what order vesting the ruins of the monasteries of Mungret, in the county of Limerick, and those of Mellifont, in the county of Louth, in the secretary of the said Commissioners of Public Works; and, if not, by what authority are these ruins maintained by the said Commissioners. Whether any and, if so, which of the ancient monuments mentioned in the Schedule (Ireland) to the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1882, have been vested in the said Commissioners, as provided by section 2 of the said last mentioned Act. Whether he will consider the propriety of having an inquiry made as to the amount of public money spent on ruins in Ireland not vested in the said Commissioners under cither the Ancient Monuments Act, 1882, or the Irish Church Act, 1869. And would he grant a return showing what ancient monuments were vested in the secretary of the said Commissioners of Public Works on 31st December last and the respective dates of the vesting orders in each case.


These stone forts were included in the Order of the Irish Church Temporalities Commissioners dated 30th October, 1880, vesting certain structures in the Board of Works. Whether the Commissioners acted within their powers in so including them is a legal point on which I can offer no opinion. Mungret Monastery was vested in the Board by an Order of 12th December, 1877, and Mellifont by one of 13th October, 1880. I will give the right hon. Member a list of the monuments referred to in paragraph 3. The Board of Works are already giving special attention to the payments made about 1890 referred to in the fourth paragraph. I will direct that the information referred to in the fifth paragraph shall be given as a schedule to the next report of the Board of Works. I think this will be more convenient than the issue of a separate return.