asked the Minister for Finance if he will state whether any proposals have been made or considered by the Government for the removal of certain farmers from the flooded areas near the River Shannon; whether it is proposed to purchase all affected holdings and provide alternative holdings for the farmers or whether it has been decided to carry out a scheme of drainage in the area; and, if so, whether Marshall Aid funds can be made available to meet part of the cost of this necessary scheme; and, further, if he will state clearly the policy of the Government as far as this question is concerned.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shannon Flooding.
No proposals of the nature referred to in the first part of the question have been made to me or considered by the Government. Neither has any decision, so far, been taken on the matter of carrying out a drainage scheme on the Shannon and, consequestly, the question of the application of Marshall Aid funds to such a project has not arisen.
As indicated in reply to a previous question by the Deputy, and as was explained to a representative deputation received on 1st March last, the likelihood of formulating a satisfactory drainage scheme for the Shannon is remote. A thorough investigation would be necessary in order to decide whether anything useful could be done within reasonable economic limits, but the prospects are not such as to justify the diversion at this stage to that investigation of the available staff and resources, which are fully occupied on the preparation and execution of drainage schemes in other catchment areas offering more economic and earlier returns.