I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. The necessity for the measure arose in this way:—A claim against the Electricity Supply Board for damages in respect to injuries sustained by a lady who came into contact with an electric light pole in Dun Laoghaire came before Judge Davitt in the Circuit Court recently. The following is an extract from the Judge's decision on this case:
"For the reasons I have expressed I am not satisfied that Section 51 of the Electricity (Supply) Act of 1927, gives to the Board either expressly or by necessary implication power to erect on a street or road poles, posts, or other such supports for the purpose of carrying electric lines for the distribution of electricity."
The effect of the judgment by Judge Davitt is that the Electricity Supply Board has no power to erect poles in any street or road, and any such poles already erected constitute a nuisance. The Judge's decision exposes the Board to thousands of actions of one kind or another. An appeal has been lodged against the Judge's decision, but it will be some considerable time before the appeal can be heard. The Electricity Supply Board has requested me to introduce legislation at the earliest possible date to rectify the position. I am satisfied, and I think my opinion is shared by all who had any act or part in the enactment of the Electricity Supply Act of 1927, that it was intended to give the Board power to erect poles, and I have agreed that this Bill should be introduced with retrospective effect.