§ 11. Mr. REDDY
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what was the cost of the repairs to the metal swivel bridge over the Shannon at Shannonbridge, King's County; under whose supervision were the repairs carried out; was the person in charge a qualified engineer; have the repairs been passed as satisfactorily executed; is the bridge now capable of bearing a weight of 12 tons, as promised by the Board of Works, or will it be made capable of doing so, in order that threshing machines may be saved the inconvenience of having, in many cases, to make a detour of 40 miles over stronger bridges?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Montagu)
I am informed that the strengthening of the 1817 swivel bridge, over the Shannon, at Shannonbridge, cost £555. It was carried out under the supervision of Mr. J. M. Batchen, M.Inst.C.E., engineer to the Board of Works, and Mr. F. D. Fletcher, M.Inst.C.E.(I.), Inspector of the Shannon Navigation, was in charge of it. It was completed satisfactorily, and the Board are advised that the bridge is now capable of bearing a weight of 12 tons.
§ 12. Mr. REDDY
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware of the loss suffered by many small farmers on the banks of the River Shannon caused by the recent floods; whether he will make inquiries to ascertain if these floods are due to the action of the inspector of the Board of Works in not keeping open the sluices at Meelick; whether the refusal to open the sluices, which has caused the loss, was decided on in the interests of anglers at Killaloe and other places on the lower reaches of the river; whether the care of these sluices will in future be handed over to the care of the county councils concerned; and whether any compensation will be given for the loss suffered?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The floods on the Shannon referred to in the question are presumably those which took place below Athlone between 25th April and 10th May, since when the river has been falling. I am informed that, on 25th April, twenty out of the thirty sluices at Meelick were open, and from the 26th April to this date all the sluices at Meelick have been open. The flood waters of the River Shannon are now regulated by one authority from Lough Allen to Killaloe, and there would, therefore, be no advantage in handing the care of the sluices over to the county councils. There is no justification for any claim for compensation, nor for the suggestion that the sluices are worked in the interest of anglers.