HC Deb 17 July 1907 vol 178 cc697-8
MR. MEEHAN (Queen's County, Leix)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the report of the county surveyor for Queen's County, dated January, 1907, in which the attention of the district council is again drawn to the condition of the River Barrow at Tinnahinch, on the road from Mountmellick to Clonaslee, and stating that the Local Government Board and the Barrow Drainage Commission have had their attention drawn to the matter, and that, unless the river is sunk sufficiently below this point, very considerable damage to roads, walls, and bridges, through the action of the floods, may reasonably be anticipated in the near future; and whether, seeing that the county council have no authority under the Local Government Act to prevent the threatened destruction of the bridges and damage to public works, he will say what steps will be taken by which the threatened destruction of public works can be prevented.

I beg also to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has received a copy of the schedule of losses sustained by Mr. John Donohoe, of Fisherstown, Ballybrittas, caused by the floods from the River Barrow, covering a period from 1901 to 1905, and showing a loss in cattle drowned and injured, hay, corn, and root crops injured and destroyed, of a total money value of £429; can he say what relief, if any, will be provided for the occupiers in the flooded area; and what action, pending legislation, the Government intend to take to mitigate the evils admitted to exist, and which Sir Alexander Binnie's Commission declared it was impossible for local effort to cope with.


I have received from the hon. Member the report of the county surveyor referred to in his first Question, and the schedule of losses which Mr. Donohoe states he has sustained, referred to in the second Question. I regret that I am not in a position to add anything to the replies which I have given to the hon. Member's previous Questions on the general subject of the Barrow drainage. Legislation will be necessary before any large drainage schemes can be carried out, and, having regard to the large amount of money involved and to the intricacy of the subject generally, it is impossible to consider the question of legislation during the present session.


asked whether in view of the fact that the last two months were exceedingly wet, producing constant floods, some temporary relief, at all events, might not be provided for the people of this district, or could nothing be done by the Government to help those people who had bought their farms and whose crops were destroyed, to enable them to pay their annuities and discharge their obligations.


The hon. Member knows, I am sure, that nothing would give me greater pleasure than to answer this Question in the affirmative. At the present moment I am not in a position to give a satisfactory reply.