To ask the Minister for Local Government whether his attention has been called to the condition of the roads in the County of Dublin; whether he is aware that nearly all the main roads leading through the County, especially on the South side, are suited only for motor traffic, and decidedly dangerous for horse and other animal traffic; whether he is aware that the unsuitable condition of the roads has been responsible for several serious accidents; whether he is aware that at a very representative meeting of farmers and ratepayers held in Sandyford on the 11th inst., the condition of the roads was strongly and unanimously condemned, and a demand made that a strip six feet wide be specially prepared on either side of such roads for horse traffic; and whether he is aware that on his way to this very meeting one of the principal ratepayers in South County Dublin met with a serious accident through the fall of his horse; and to ask the Minister what steps he proposes to take to bring the Dublin County Council and the other local Councils concerned to a realisation of their duty in the matter of the public highways.

I have not received any representations in regard to the condition of the roads in County Dublin, nor am I aware of the unsuitability of these roads for other than motor traffic.

I have not heard of any serious accidents. My attention has, however, been drawn to the Press reports of the meeting referred to, and I understand that the matter was also brought under the notice of the Dublin County Council, who indicated that they would take the steps necessary to remedy the condition of the roads complained of. In similar cases, and in cases in which accidents have been reported to the Council, I learn that everything possible was done to prevent a recurrence.

It appears that on the roads in question strips of from four feet to six feet wide have been left untarred, but that, owing to weather conditions, the tar sometimes spreads. The use of tar on these roads was essential, as without it it would be impossible to maintain such heavily trafficked roads at a reasonable cost.

In the circumstances, it is not proposed to take any action in the matter with the Dublin County Council.

Would the Minister consider that a four to six feet space is sufficient on those wide roads without tar?

I understand that is regarded as sufficient.