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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 25 Feb 1953

Vol. 136 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Inquiry into Sinking of S.S. Princess Victoria.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if, in view of our interest in the safety of shipping and passenger services in the Irish Sea, he has considered the desirability of being represented at the public inquiry which is to be held into the sinking, with high loss of life, of the passenger ship Princess Victoria; and, if so, with what result.

I do not consider that it is necessary for me to be represented at the public inquiry which is being held into the tragic disaster to the Princess Victoria.

Does the Minister not consider that, in view of the fact that this disaster occurred in a cross-Channel steamer which is owned by one of the companies that operate services in this part of the country, we have an interest in acertaining the causes of this disaster? Furthermore, does the Minister not consider that the question of making adequate provision for quick rescue work in the event of a similar disaster occurring in the Irish Sea is a matter that also concerns the Government? Would the Minister reconsider the whole position also on the basis that it would afford him and his Government an opportunity of expressing their sympathy with the people of the Six Counties who suffered in this disaster?

This is a public inquiry held by the British Government into the loss of a vessel owned and registered in Britain. I assume that a report of the result of the public inquiry will be published and, therefore, any information which may be contained in it which may be of interestto us will be available. There is no circumstances in which we could claim to be represented at the inquiry.

Is the Minister aware that these vessels are interchangeable and often operate on the Holyhead-Dún Laoghaire route and other routes here?

If we were holding a public inquiry in respect of a vessel owned and registered in Ireland, I do not think we would look very favourably upon the British Government asking to be represented.

Suppose there were British citizens aboard?