Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Donegal Fishery.

asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the Board of Works have sold the net-drying lands at Teelin, County Donegal, used by the local fishermen for the past hundred years; that Teelin was selected by the Congested Districts Board as one of their principal fishing centres in 1891, and that they erected on these lands stores for salt, nets, gear, as well as a cooperage for the use of the local fishermen; that several months ago objections were raised to the proposed sale of this property and that on the 10th January, 1945, a public meeting of fishermen was held at Teelin which protested against this sale and urged that the property be retained by the State for the benefit of the younger generation of fishermen in the area and for the post-war development of the fishing industry on this part of the Donegal coast; and, if so, if he will state why the wishes of the people concerned were not met in this matter.

The lands in question are surplus to State requirements and when it had been confirmed that no Department wished to retain them, they were offered for disposal by public competition in accordance with the normal practice. The best offer received for the purchase of the property was accepted after full consideration of the representations made on behalf of the fishing interests at Teelin.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary state what was the compelling necessity to sell this State property to a private individual at a time when there was evidence of a revival of the fishing in the area and when the young generation of fishermen there would be taking an active interest in the industry?

When property is found to be surplus to requirements, I always regard it as good business to dispose of it.