HC Deb 24 April 1883 vol 278 cc1053-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he can state how many post mortem examinations took place at the Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Dundrum, within the last year and half, by whom they were made, what was the charge for each, who received the fees, and from what source were they paid; whether, in the recent case of Mr. Daid, it was stated by the resident medical officer he was killed by a large nail; whether any other medical or surgical authority concurred in or differed from that opinion; and, whether the coroner threatened to lock up the jury for the night unless they gave a verdict in accordance with his wishes?


The total number of such examinations held during the period stated was 18. Of these the first 15 were conducted by the resident physician of the asylum, the fees—one guinea in each case—being received by him. Two were held by that officer in conjunction with the district dispensary doctor, the fees—three guineas in each case—being shared between them. In the most recent case which has occurred the examination was conducted by the dispensary doctor alone, who received a fee of two guineas. In all cases the fees were paid by the County Treasurer on the order of the Coroner. The opinion given by the resident physician as to the cause of M'Daid's death is correctly quoted. The visiting physician, who afterwards saw the body, expressed doubt that a nail was the actual weapon used. The Coroner was not dissatisfied with the verdict itself; but he at first declined to receive with it a rider which he thought illegal, but as to the reception of which he finally yielded to the wishes of the jury. Measures have been taken by the Government for holding post-mortem examinations by other members than by the resident officer.