Thursday, 22 May 1930
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Maguire: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware (a) that a section of the railway in the Arigna Valley has been removed by the Great Southern Railway Company, and that its removal is a drawback to the future possibilities of the mines in that area; (b) if he will state whether the railway company contemplate a reduction of service on the railway from Ballinamore to Drumshambo, and if he is aware that any reduction of the present service would  seriously injure the interests of the locality above mentioned, and whether he will see that no such reduction will occur.
Mr. McGilligan: I am informed that the rails on the upper portion of the Arigna Valley Railway, which was absorbed by the Great Southern Railways Company in accordance with Section 2 (2) of the Railways Act, 1924, are being lifted. This portion of the line has been derelict, no traffic having passed over it for some years, and there would not appear to be any justification for saddling users of other parts of the Great Southern system with the cost of its continued maintenance.
The possible reduction of services on the railway between Ballinamore and Drumshambo or elsewhere, is a matter primarily within the discretion of the railway company and one over which I have no control. I understand, however, that what the railway company has under examination is the possible substitution of road for railway services, but that would involve legal formalities which would afford an opportunity for considering local interests.
Mr. Maguire: With regard to the Minister's answer to the first part of the question, I take it he is satisfied that the future possible development of the Arigna Valley is so small a practicable proposition that he considers the retention of the railway there would no longer be of any service.
Mr. McGilligan: The lifting of the railway line has not been undertaken in view of any statement relative to the possibility of development hereafter. That matter could be looked into when the time comes. The reason underlying the lifting of the rails is because the line has been derelict for so many years.
Mr. Maguire: Is it not part of the Minister's duty to investigate the possibility of future development there and to see that the line is not taken away in view of its future use? Its removal is a serious handicap.
Mr. McGilligan: This is really a matter that is entirely within the control of the railway authorities. I have no discretion to interfere. The only thing that I might do, if development of the district seemed to be immediate, would be to draw attention to the fact that the railway company might have to relay the line.
Mr. Maguire: Public money was expended to a very considerable extent in connection with this line recently and surely it is not a matter that should be lightly treated by the Minister. It is a serious drawback to any future development in the Arigna Valley.
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