andMr. Kyne asked the Minister for Defence whether in view of the serious allegations recently made in Dáil Éireann during the debate on the Estimate for Fisheries against the character and actions of the members of the Irish Lights service he will state if he has any knowledge of members of the service giving warning to foreign trawlers of the approach of the fishery protection vessels in exchange for presents of brandy; and if he has no such knowledge, if he will take the opportunity of refuting the allegations against the character of these men by publicly stating that there is no truth in these statements.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Allegation against Lighthouse Men.
I have no knowledge of members of the Irish Lights service giving warning to foreign trawlers of the approach of the fishery protection vessels in exchange for presents of brandy.
Would the Minister go further and say that the allegation made by a Deputy in this House was untrue?
The link between the authority governing these lights in Britain and in this country is the Department of Transport and Power. My responsibility is for fishery protection and I am telling the Deputy that I have no knowledge of these allegations.
I wonder would the Deputy who made there allegations be prepared to substantiate them in public?
That is a separate question.
Might I ask the Minister if he would be good enough to provide the four Deputies who appended their names to these questions with copies of last week's Connacht Telegraph?
I wonder would the Deputy be prepared now to do as I suggest, bring forth evidence to substantiate his allegations and be a common informer?
The Deputy made an allegation against the finest body of men in the country.
I have called Question No. 71. Deputy Lynch should allow the Minister to reply.