Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Youghal Bridge.

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he has received representations from the Youghal Urban District Council to appoint a bridge commission in connection with the erection of a new bridge over the River Blackwater at Youghal; whether he proposes to appoint the commission; and, if so, when.

I would refer the Deputy to the reply I gave him to his question in regard to this bridge on the 8th April last. The county councils concerned have passed resolutions requesting that at least 75 per cent. of the cost of the work should be contributed by the Road Fund. The cost of the reconstruction of the bridge, including the preparation of plans, will be a charge on the local bodies concerned, subject to whatever contribution it may be found possible to make from the Road Fund. In the present condition of that fund it would be quite improper for the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to give any undertaking which would impose an indefinite and unascertainable liability upon it. Therefore I cannot make any statement at this stage as to the amount of such contribution. When I receive an assurance from the county councils that they are agreeable to bear the cost of preliminary surveys and the preparation of plans, which would probably amount to over £10,000, arrangements for having that portion of the work undertaken will be considered.

What is the difficulty, apart from the quarrel about who is to pay for the bridge ultimately, in having a bridge commission established at this stage?

Because that procedure is much too cumbersome and unsatisfactory.

What procedure does the Minister contemplate? Is it not a statutory provision that a bridge commission must, in fact, be established?

In order to expedite the matter, legislation would be required, and that legislation is under consideration.

Do I understand then from the Minister that it is not proposed to avail of existing statutory provisions for the establishment of a bridge commission, but that instead it is proposed to introduce legislation to set up some other type of body to enable works of this kind to be undertaken?

Is under consideration, yes.