§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is now in a position to state who possesses the fishing rights at the limit of the Shimna River, Newcastle, county Down; whether Lord Annesley held the sole rights for ten years prior to the passing of the Act of 1842; whether Lord Roden owns any part of the river or has any fishing rights at the limit; whether he can state when Lord Annesley commenced to pay rates on his alleged rights; whether he can explain why Mr. John Tear was prosecuted for having a net inside the limit, and that no prosecution was laid against Lord Annesley's bailiff, who was detected with three illegal nets across the mouth of the river; and what explanation the Dundalk Board of Fishery has to offer.
The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction have no definite information as to the extent of any exclusive right of fishery which may exist on this river. Such a question of title can only be decided by a Court of law. It is understood that Lord Annesley claims such a right, and he commenced to pay rates in respect of this alleged right in 1905. The Department understand that Lord Roden does not claim any such rights. It would appear that the Dundalk Board of Conservators prosecuted John Tear for fishing within the half-mile limit at the mouth of the 1444 river contrary to statute law. In the case of Lord Annesley's bailiff, the Board of Conservators stated that they were satisfied that he worked his nets in a legal manner when acting as bailiff.