I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if the attention of the Irish Government has been directed to the request by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland some months ago to take into consideration the provision of adequate harbour accommodation on the north coast of Innishowen, and to the opinion of the Board that deep sea fishing at Malin Head and Glengad cannot be properly developed without such harbour; and, seeing that hundreds of families in these districts depend solely for support upon the deep-sea fishing which during the winter, owing to the, absence of a suitable harbour, could not be carried on with safety, and that some of the piers in these districts, which were built partly out of moneys locally supplied, but according to plans and sites selected by the Board of Works, which piers were designated on the cutting of the first sod of the Carndonagh Line of Railway by his predecessor as dry land piers, whether compensation will be made by the Government for the money thus expended by the Board of Works by a grant being given for the construction of a harbour, as recommended by the Congested Districts Board.
The Congested Districts Board has expressed the opinion that the fishing industry cannot be largely developed on coast of Donegal unless a harbour of refuge be constructed. The natural facilities for such a harbour are not great, and its cost would be in excess of any sum which the Board could provide. Under these circumstances, the project is one which can only be considered in connection with similar projects of considerable magnitude.
I asked if representations had been made by the Congested Districts Board to the Irish Government in favour of a grant from imperial funds for the construction of a harbour of refuge.
I have said that the Board have expressed an opinion that these fisheries cannot be much developed without such a harbour.
Will the right hon. Gentleman send down an engineer to inspect and report?
I see no objection to that, as a work of this magnitude could not be carried out with local means alone.
The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the latter part of my question.
With all respect, I have answered it as fully as I can.