asked the Minister for Lands and Fisheries whether there is any scheme on foot for the relief of the inhabitants of the village of Stradina, Ballinagleara, County Leitrim, who were impoverished by the floods last year, and (b) whether there is any scheme on foot to prevent the recurrence of these floods.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Co. Leitrim Floods.
The Land Commission have had under consideration the manner in which the problem presented by the position of the houses of the tenant purchasers in Stradina could best be dealt with, whether by migrating the purchasers to other lands or by giving them assistance to rebuild in other positions on their holdings. In view of the difficulties that would be encountered in carrying out migrations they have come to the conclusion that the latter course is the better one, and have approached the Department of Finance with a view to obtaining approval of a grant to the purchasers to enable them to rebuild on different sites. With regard to the prevention of floods, as I informed the Deputy on a former occasion, no action that the Land Commission could take would, having regard to the nature of the river, prevent sudden flooding of the land.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary able to give any indication as to when he will be in a position to deal with the situation as he proposes?
I am not in a position at the moment to state when I will be able to deal with it.
The Parliamentary Secretary will probably remember that this matter was raised a year ago, and the Department indicated that inspectors had been instructed to investigate the position, which, I understand, they have done. Surely at the end of twelve months it would be only reasonable to expect that the Department should be able to give an indication as to when they will be able to put into effect the recommendations of their inspectors.
On that occasion the question raised referred to the sudden flooding of the river and the damage done to the land adjoining, but since then that damage has been repaired. This is a different question altogether. It is a question of migrating a number of people whose houses were damaged by that flooding to different positions on their holdings, and the position is complicated by the fact that these holdings are intermixed or in rundale. The difficulty is to select sites that will be removed from the possibility of damage from flooding on any future occasion.
I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary is quite correct in saying the matter was discussed on a wider basis a year ago. The whole matter, or I should say the whole situation, was investigated and discussed here at that time with a view to seeing how these people could be removed or migrated, or to see what should be done in order to prevent a recurrence of the flooding, and also to make provision for housing so as to remove the existing danger. All these things were discussed here, and I think it is not fair now, after the lapse of twelve months, that we should be told that an inquiry has taken place and to suggest that certain suppositions may be put into effect. I think the Parliamentary Secretary should give a definite idea of when that should be done.
I think the Deputy's memory is sadly at fault.