§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that delay has taken place in carrying out contracts for the erection of labourers' cottages in the Fermoy Rural District; if any penalties were provided for in the bonds of the 696W several contractors, and, if so, have these been enforced in any case; did T. Neligan take a contract about two years ago for a cottage passed in favour of a labourer named Denis Manning, in the electoral district of Castle Lyne; was the foundation cut and laid out for this cottage last May, and nothing whatever done towards its construction since; and will the Local Government Board use its powers to see that contractors are compelled to perform their duties within a reasonable time, and particularly that the cottage intended for Denis Manning is built without any further delay?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Delay has occurred in the Fermoy district, as generally happens in rural districts where a large number of cottages have to be built. The Fermoy Rural District Council, under the last Order granted to them, were authorised to build 242 cottages. A fine of £1 a week is provided for in the specification, and on the 4th ultimo the council directed that fines should be enforced upon contractors who are not making satisfactory progress with cottages. The tender of Thomas Neligan for the erection of three cottages in the Castlelyons Electoral Division was accepted in April, 1909, but the Local Government Board have no information as to the progress made under the contract. Responsibility for seeing that contracts are carried out rests entirely with district councils, but the Board are constantly urging councils to insist upon contractors fulfilling the terms of their contracts, and to enforce fines in case of delay.