Wednesday, 12 March 1930
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Brady: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is aware of the dangerous condition of tram lines in many places, owing to the failure of the Dublin United Tramway Company to keep their tram lines level with road surface, and whether he will use his powers to have this matter remedied.
Mr. Brady: Is the Minister not aware that from Dalkey to the city practically all portions of the tramline are in a most dangerous condition? I tried to make a survey of the position in order to meet the answer which I have just received, and I found that it would be much easier to record the spaces that are level than to record those that are not. Take, for instance, Mount Street, where a new road is being put down. There you find the centre is in a most dangerous condition owing to the tram line in some places being as low as three inches below the setts. It is the same in Merrion Square.
Mr. P.S. Doyle: Is the Minister aware that representations have frequently been made to the City Commissioners in the last few years regarding the dangerous condition of these tram lines, and can he state what are the powers of the Commissioners in this regard?
General Mulcahy: I can only reply to this matter as Minister for Local Government and Public Health, and I am not able to say whether the Deputy refers to Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire or the city. So far as the city is concerned, I have no recollection of any complaints being made. I can get no specific recollection of these matters in the city being drawn to the attention of the Commissioners. I am assured that the matter is constantly under review. The Commissioners have statutory powers to require the Tramway Company to keep the roads in proper order, and from time to time, in fact, quite recently, they have drawn the attention of the company to places in the city which require attention. As Minister for Local Government and Public Health, I cannot go to Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey and inspect the tram line, but if the Deputy will  communicate the statement he made here in regard to the unsatisfactory condition of the tram lines either to the Department or the local bodies, I am sure that the matter will be taken up by the local bodies who are responsible.
Mr. Brady: I would like to know whether the Minister has any information as to the number of people who were formerly employed in keeping the lines in repair. My information is that formerly there were 500 men constantly employed on that work but that the number has now been reduced to nine.
General Mulcahy: I have not had a single instance brought to my notice, as Minister for Local Government and Public Health, of anything being wrong with the tram lines at any particular point by any of the Deputies who are interested in the matter. There are two parties interested—namely, the Tramway  Company and the local bodies through whose areas the trams run. If the Deputy communicates with the local bodies through the Department of Local Government and Public Health I will act as intermediary in the matter. The local bodies are the people to approach, and if they do not take the matter up satisfactorily I will see what power the Department has to make them look after that work, but I do not think that they have any.
Mr. Moore: Will the Minister say whether it is not a fact that the neglect on the part of the Tramway Company in this matter is being connived at by the local authorities, pending legislation which is expected this year?
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