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21 1939



Preliminary and General.

Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as the Air-raid Precautions Act, 1939.

Definitions generally.

2. —In this Act—

the expression “the Minister” means the Minister for Defence;

the expression “air-raid shelter” means protection, otherwise than by war-like means or by any article of apparel, from attack from the air;

the expression “an air-raid shelter” means any premises, structure, or excavation used or intended to be used to provide air-raid shelter;

the expression “air-raid precautions equipment” means any equipment, appliances or material constructed or designed for the purposes of affording protection to persons or property in the event of attack from the air or any parts of such equipment, appliances or material;

the expression “factory inspector” means a person who is for the time being an inspector for the purposes of the Factory and Workshops Acts, 1901 to 1920;

the expression “mines inspector” means a person who is for the time being an inspector for the purposes of the Coal Mines Act, 1911;

the word “occupier” means—

(a) in relation to any occupied land, the person entitled to occupy such land,

(b) in relation to any land which is a small dwelling within the meaning of the Local Government (Rates on Small Dwellings) Act, 1928 (No. 4 of 1928), the person who would but for that Act be rated as occupier of such land,

(c) in relation to any other land, the person who is rated as occupier of such land;

the word “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under this Act.

“Local authorities”.

3. —Each of the following persons and bodies shall be a local authority for the purposes of this Act, that is to say:—

(a) the council of a county, county borough, borough or urban district, and

(b) a board of health, and

(c) a port sanitary authority,

and the expression “local authority” when used in this Act without qualification shall be construed accordingly.

“Essential undertakers”.

4. —(1) Each of the following persons shall be an essential undertaker for the purposes of this Act, that is to say:—

(a) a person (other than a Minister of State, the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland or the Irish Land Commission) authorised, by a British Statute, a Saorstát Eireann Statute, an Act of the Oireachtas or an order having statutory force, to construct, work or carry on a railway, canal, inland navigation, dock, harbour, tramway, water, gas, electricity, or other public undertaking;

(b) any person declared by an order made under sub-section (2) of this section to be an essential undertaker for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The Minister may, with the concurrence of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, by order under this sub-section declare any person who carries on any undertaking to be an essential undertaker for the purposes of this Act.

(3) In this Act the expression “the undertaking” when used in relation to an essential undertaker means the undertaking carried on by such essential undertaker.

Offences by bodies corporate.

5. —Where an offence under any section or sub-section of this Act is committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or connivance of any person who is a director or officer (including secretary or manager) of such body corporate or who, if such body corporate is a local authority, is a member or officer of such local authority, such person shall also be deemed to be guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Prosecution of offences.

6. —An offence under any section of this Act may be prosecuted by the Minister or a member of the Gárda Síochána.

Service of documents.

7. —Any document which is required or authorised by or under this Act to be given to or served on any person may be given or served either—

(a) by delivering it to that person; or

(b) by leaving it, or sending it in a prepaid letter addressed to him, at his last known residence or his last known place of business; or

(c) in the case of a document to be given to or served on the occupier of any premises, by addressing it to the person concerned by the description of “occupier” of the premises to which it relates and delivering it to some person on the premises or, if there is no person on the premises to whom it can be delivered, by affixing it or a copy of it to some conspicuous part of the premises.

For the purposes of this sub-section, a company registered within the State under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1924, shall be deemed to carry on business at its registered office, and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body shall be deemed to carry on business at its principal office or place of business within the State.

Laying of regulations before Houses of the Oireachtas.

8. —Every regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution annulling such regulation is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which such House has sat after such regulation is laid before it, such regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such regulation.

Expenses of the Minister.

9. —The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.