CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - SLIEVEARDAGH COAL MINE.

DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he has received a resolution from the Tipperary (S.R.) County Council regarding the working of the Slieveardagh Coal Mine, and if so, whether he will state what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.

There is no record in my Department of the receipt of a recent resolution on this subject from the Tipperary (S.R.) County Council except one which has been passed to my Department within the past fortnight by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, to whom a copy was sent by the County Council on the 21st January. This resolution requests the Government to enact legislation to compel the present owners of the Slieveardagh Coal Mines either to work or develop the mines or to sell them to people at their true market value who will work them. I presume this is the resolution to which the Deputy refers. If so, the reply to the concluding part of the question is in the negative. I have no evidence that there are any persons desirous and capable of working the mines who cannot come to an arrangement with the owners.

Can the Minister say if his Department was approached by any individual who expressed a desire to purchase these mines within the last two or three years, and, if so, will he state if his Department was in a position to give those people who were interested any information with regard to the mines?

The answer to both questions is in the affirmative.