I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a large part of the district surrounding Lough Neagh has been flooded to such an extent during the past winter that in many of the houses of the inhabitants water for several weeks covered the floors to a considerable depth; and whether, seeing that epidemics of fevers and other like diseases have usually followed that state of matters in the past, he will direct the Local Government Inspector to visit and report upon the sanitary state of the district with a view to the adoption of measures to prevent such diseases in the district during the summer; whether his information shows that the drainage scheme planned and carried out by the Irish Board of Works has failed to provide the relief from flooding promised for it by their engineer; whether he is aware that the chief cost of the complete scheme of drainage has been assessed on and paid for by the tenant farmers of the district; and whether he will take immediate steps to have the drainage of the district for which the people have paid conflicted at the public expense.
The Local Government Board have received resolutions from local bodies to the effect that part of this district is subject to floods, but they have no information that epidemics of fever have resulted from such flooding. The works of the drainage district, which were completed in 1859, were entirely successful for the purposes sought to be effected for a number of years. The cost of the works in 1859 was charged in the
usual way on the interests of the proprietors. I am not in a position, without further inquiry, to state to what extent increased rents have been imposed on the tenants consequent upon the improvements. I am not prepared to introduce in the present session legislation similar to that introduced and subsequently withdrawn in 1889.† See page 583 of this volume.