Seanad Éireann - Volume 41 - 25 March, 1953
Local Government Bill, 1952—Committee and Final Stages.
Section 1 agreed to.
Mr. Hearne Mr. Hearne
Mr. Hearne: I move amendment No. 1, standing in the name of Senator Yeats:—
In sub-section (1), line 21, to insert before “which” the words “over which a public right of way for foot passengers, animals and vehicles exists and”.
The section, as framed, is very wide in scope in that it authorises the road authority to declare any road not a public road to be a public road. The 1925 Act provided that there should be, firstly, a public right of way over a road, secondly, that such a road would connect two roads, and, thirdly, that such a road would not be less than 11 feet wide. These restrictions are now, by this amendment which I am proposing, reduced to the requirement that there must be a public right of way for foot passengers, animals and  vehicles before a local authority can declare such a road to be a public road.
There is a possibility that if this amendment was not inserted, roads which local authorities had never any intention of taking over could be taken over. An example which would spring immediately to the minds of city people would be the road through Trinity College which could be taken over by the road authority in the city unless this amendment was inserted. That, apart from the merits or demerits of such a proposal, would be an interference of a right guaranteed under the Constitution, namely, the right of private property.
I think that it would be very inadvisable if that were so and if we passed a Bill which might possibly cause such an injury. Quite possibly, it might lead to the Bill itself being deemed in the courts to be unconstitutional. For these reasons, I move the amendment for Senator Yeats, which should commend itself to the House.
Professor Hayes Professor Hayes
Professor Hayes: I think that the amendment is a sound one and means that a local body cannot declare a road  to be a public road unless it has been already in use by the public. That is perfectly sound. I do not think that the Bill, as originally framed, was intended to give the powers which are, apparently, contained in it. The insertion of the amendment will be an improvement, because it will prevent the possibility, by a side-wind, of interference with anyone's rights. I say again that the amendment is a sound one, and I support it.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
Amendment No. 2 not moved.
Section 3 and the Title put and agreed to.
Agreed to take the remaining stages now.
Question—“That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Question—“That the Bill do now pass”—put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 10.13, sine die.
Seanad Éireann 41 Local Government Bill, 1952—Committee and Final Stages.