CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - INTERRUPTED COMMUNICATIONS.

To ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that rail and road communication between Cork City and Cobh has been completely cut off for the past five weeks, owing to rail and road bridges at Fota being completely destroyed by Irregulars, thus causing very serious loss to the trade of the Port and very serious consequential loss to the people of this district, who depend largely on the shipping of the Port for a livelihood; and whether he will now approach the Great Southern and Western Railway Company with a view to having railway communication with this Island opened up at an early date, and so help to stave off absolute ruin to the people of the district, as undoubtedly the conditions there will be extremely bad if these communications are not restored at an early date.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce has asked me to give the following reply:—Owing to engineering difficulties the work of repairing the bridges at Fota has been unavoidably delayed, but I understand that the repairs will probably be completed and communication restored in the course of this week.

Will the same thing apply to Mallow bridge?

Mr. O'HIGGINS:

I have simply a typed answer from the Minister for Commerce and I am afraid I cannot answer a supplementary question.