asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that the residents of Ardreigh, Athy, Co. Kildare, are suffering great hardship by the flooding of their houses and lands; that they have to wade through from two to three feet of water to reach their houses; that the road from Ardreigh to Bray is impassable; that the passages through the adjoining lands are closed, and that children cannot get to school, and whether he will instruct the Office of Public Works to communicate with the Clerk of Athy No. 1 Rural District Council, who will give particulars of the views of his Council on the problem, and also whether he will send down an engineer to inspect and report on the conditions mentioned with a view to having the necessary drainage carried out.

The flooding referred to in the question is caused by the River Barrow. The Government are at the moment considering a report on a scheme for the relief of flooding in the catchment area of this river, and in the circumstances it would not serve any useful purpose to send an engineer down now to this particular place.

Is the Minister aware that these lands have been flooded for the last five months and that seven families are affected, and can he not do something to relieve the sufferings of these families?

We want to relieve the sufferings of all the families in the Barrow catchment area.