Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 10 Apr 1951

Vol. 125 No. 3

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Mountmellick-Portlaoighise Railway.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will arrange with Córas Iompair Éireann to reopen the Mountmellick-Portlaoighise branch railway line; and, further, if he will ascertain from Córas Iompair Éireann if it had been proposed to close the line permanently and if he will indicate whether there is any likelihood of an early opening of a daily passenger service and of goods traffic on this line.

No railway services may be permanently discontinued, except under the authority of an order made by the Transport Tribunal established under the Transport Act, 1950. Before such an order may be made, a notice of the application must be published and consideration given to any objections which may be made by interested parties to the making of such an order. No proposals for the closing of this or any other branch line have been submitted under the Act by Córas Iompair Éireann.

As explained by the Minister in Dáil Éireann in reply to a question on 7th June, 1950, it was formerly the practice to answer questions concerning branch lines, as the Minister had certain functions under Section 9 of the Railways Act, 1933. The position was altered by the Transport Act, 1950, and, as indicated earlier in the reply, no railway service may now be permanently discontinued except under the authority of an order made by the Transport Tribunal. The Minister has now no function in the matter.

Would the Minister consider exploring the possibility of a daily train service between Mountmellick and Portlaoighise, because there seems to be a general demand for it, and would be recommend it to Córas Iompair Éireann?

I should like to see it and I will consider it, but that does not say that I will recommend it.

What was the reason given by the company to his predecessor for the temporary permanent closing down of this section?

Lack of coal.

I think the closing down at that time was a temporary one.

Temporary permanent.

And the reasons at the time were reasonable.

Why was it not reopened when supplies became available?

The Deputy knows that, even in the present year, we, in this country, are restricting train services, and I think many other countries are doing the same thing. It is important to keep a train service going, but it is at least equally important to keep the home fires burning.

Were you not throwing coal away as fast as you could in the past two years?

At 50/- per ton, out of the Park.

Where was it going? It was not going into the Atlantic Ocean. It was going into the homes of the people.

The excuse that you had no coal will just not hold water.

Every pound of coal unloaded went into the home of some person. The Deputy resents that. He would rather have the people cold.