THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Marquis of Londonderry threatens to bring harbours question before the Queen

From the News Letter, May 18, 1849

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 6:00 am
Donaghadee harbour, Co Down
Donaghadee harbour, Co Down

The Marquis of Londonderry was critical of the decision of the government to abandon the upkeep up the harbours at Donaghadee and Portpatrick which would lead to the cutting of the connection between the two ports, reported the News Letter this day in 1849.

The marquis raised his concerns while speaking in the House of Lords.

Londonderry claimed that the decision had been suspected as in recent years the granting of “votes in driblets for their improvement” had led them falling into disrepair.

In his opinion he did not believe the decision of the government was an unwise one and encouraged the administration to reconsider.

He went on to warn that if he did not receive a satisfactory answer he would then bring the issue before the Queen “praying she would be graciously pleased to give instruction that the works at Portpatrick and Donaghadee be continued”.

Responding to the Marquis of Londonderry’s question the Marquis of Lansdowne who spoke for the government in the Lords said that the government had satisfied itself not to authorise any further expenditure on the two harbours.

He added that the ministers were convinced that communication between Scotland and Ireland could be “carried on more rapidly and conveniently” by services between Belfast and Glasgow than Donaghadee and Portpatrick.

Returning to his feet Londonderry added further criticism to the government stance, he claimed that the decision had been “hastily and incorrectly formed”.