Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Corrib Fisheries.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state when he proposes to put into operation Part V of the Fisheries Act, 1939, with reference to the salmon and eel fisheries in the Corrib.

I regret that I am not yet in a position to give the information asked for by the Deputy.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that the former owner of these fishing rights in Galway has now sold his rights to a British company?

I have seen a notice in the Press about it but, even it that were true, I do not see how the implementation of the 1939 Fisheries Act affects it.

Surely we should not allow it to go to any outside interest.

I might tell Deputy Hickey, with regard to this particular case, that even if we were in a position to acquire these fisheries it would be undesirable to do so now because these fisheries will be very seriously interfered with by the drainage of the Corrib. Therefore, even if we were in a position to go ahead, I think it would be advisable to hold our hand.

Are you going to allow the fisheries to be destroyed by the Board of Works? That is draft.

In a case of priority——

Deputy McQuillan, on a supplementary question.

If this sale to a British company has taken place, is it not fair to suggest that these fishing rights will be exploited for their own benefit by the British company?

Hear, hear!

As things stand at the present time, we cannot stop the sale of this property.

You can—by implementing Part V of the Fisheries Act, 1939.

When the Fisheries Department are ready to acquire these fisheries they will acquire them irrespective of whoever the owner may be.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary seriously mean to say that he proposes to permit the Board of Works, under an arterial drainage scheme, to destroy the fisheries at Galway?

Mr. Walsh

Sit down and do not be foolish.

Deputy Dillon seems to have more information about the effects of drainage on the fishery at Galway than the experts of the Fisheries Department.

You tell me now——

Deputy Dillon used the word "destroy."

I said that if we were ready to acquire these fisheries now we should do so but I think it would be better not to do so until the Board of Works have completed the drainage of the Corrib. I am very strongly of that opinion.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary propose to permit the Board of Works to destroy the fisheries at Galway?

Nobody said "destroy".