Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Donegal Forestry Workers.

asked the Minister for Lands if he is aware that forestry workers on the Hill estate, Gweedore, County Donegal, work the following hours: Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; that the only break allowed is one hour each day for lunch except on Saturday when 15 minutes only are allowed, and that quite a number of these workers travel distances up to five miles each day to and from work; and, if so, if he will take immediate steps to have forestry workers on this estate treated on a par with county council workers in the locality in so far as working hours are concerned.

The forestry workers employed in County Donegal are conditioned to the same working hours as all forestry workers employed at State forests throughout the country. These working hours have been found to be generally satisfactory even in districts in which the men have to travel appreciable distances to their work and the introduction of exceptional hours of work at Gweedore Forest would not be justified.

Does the Minister not agree that there is parity in pay— and why should there not be parity in hours so far as work is concerned?

I am not satisfied that there is not parity, in fact, taking one thing with another.

Rest assured of it, that in this case there is disparity.