MR. C. MACVEIGH (Donegal, E.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that the Joint Committee of the Midland Railway (England) and the Great Northern (Ireland) have recently issued notices to the effect that the station at Balleybofey, on the State-built line between Stranorlar and Glenties, county Donegal, is to be wholly discontinued as a goods station after 1st April, 1907, and to be almost practically discontinued as a passenger station after the said date; whether he is aware that Ballybofey is on the plans as one of the stations, and has been used as such since the construction of this line, and that the Board of Works, in pursuance of an agreement between the promoters and the people of Balleybofey, erected a weighbridge and cattle pens there; will he say under what authority the Joint Committee have removed the weighbridge to Stranorlar; under what authority have they issued their recent notices to discontinue Balleybofey as a goods station in defiance of an 1281 agreement arrived at when the construction of the line received the approval of the Grand Jury; and will he take steps forthwith to compel the Joint Committee to keep intact Balleybofey station as a goods and passenger station, and restore through bookings to and from Balleybofey, as obtains on all other stations of the line since its construction, and thus carry out the undertaking arrived at.
§ (Answered by Mr. Runciman.) I have no information as to the action alleged to have been taken by the Joint Committee, nor on the question whether that Committee have any obligations to keep open Balleybofey station for goods or passengers. The railway referred to was acquired by the Great Northern (Ireland) and Midland Railways Act of 1906, and the liabilities of the county and of the Treasury were thereby extinguished. The Government is, therefore, not concerned and has no power to act as the hon. Member suggests. I may observe, however, that no undertaking was given at the time the line was constructed to give through bookings to Ballybofey.