§ 34. Mr. REDDY
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the loss suffered by farmers along the banks of the Shannon owing to their lands being flooded through the neglect of the Board of Works by not having the sluicegates raised at Meelick; whether he is: aware that the Board was warned by a Member of Parliament for a constituency most concerned; and what compensation will be given to the farmers for the loss of their hay crop?
§ 35. Mr. HAYDEN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that, at the instance of his immediate predecessor in office, a Report was made by Mr. Charles O'Conor, Local Government Board inspector, on the loss caused to a great portion of the country by the overflowing of the River Shannon; whether he is aware that since the making of this Report, and particularly during the present year, the evil has been aggravated; and whether he is prepared to consider and make a proposal to bring relief to those who are suffering grave loss in consequence?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed that there has been no neglect on the part of the Board of Works. They are obliged to maintain the river at navigation level. They have done everything consistent with this requirement to prevent flooding. 178 A Report on the drainage of the lands adjoining the River Shannon between Athlone and Shannonbridge was made by Mr. C. H. O'Conor, Local Government Board inspector, in 1913, at the instance of the Irish Government. It is not the case that the flooding has been greater since 1913. The floods this year have so far been less than the average. The question of granting Government assistance for the drainage of the Shannon cannot be considered at the present time.
§ Mr. REDDY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been repeated warnings to the Local Government Board or the Board of Works, and that the Government were asked in this House last Session to hand over the care of these sluices to the various county councils immediately concerned in Galway and King's County?
§ Mr. DUKE
I do not think the drainage of the Shannon can be dealt with in sections. I had the opportunity of discussing this matter with Mr. Charles O'Conor, who conducted most efficiently, as I believe, an inquiry into the matter; and I am satisfied that the idea that we could cure the flooding of the Shannon by piecemeal treatment is erroneous. If the hon. Gentleman can give me particulars of acts of default which he desires to bring to the notice of the Irish Office, I will take care they are investigated.