HC Deb 26 July 1883 vol 282 cc517-8

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that charges of inefficiency and neglect of duty have repeatedly been made against Denis M'Cormac, the Master of the Ballycastle Workhouse, by the medical officer and others, and whether such charges have not from time to time been investigated by the Local Government Board, and proved to their satisfaction; whether the Local Government Board, in consequence of the unfitness of Denis M'Cormac, required the guardians to declare his office vacant, and to proceed to a new election, and whether the elected guardians thereupon declared the office vacant and proceeded to reelect M'Cormac; and, whether the Local Government Board accepted that formality as a sufficient compliance with their order; and, whether, subsequently, a sworn investigation into M'Cormac's conduct was held by the direction of the Local Government Board; and, whether, upon receipt of the Report of such investigation, the Board required the immediate resignation or dismissal of M'Cormac; and, whether the elected guardians declined to give effect to the requirements of the Local Government Board, and consequently M'Cormac continues to hold his office; and, if so, upon what ground the Local Government Board consider themselves justified in neglecting to enforce their order?


Sir, I have received the following Report from the Local Government Board on this case:—Mr. M'Cormac was elected master of Ballycastle Workhouse in 1879; and, after a short trial, it did not appear, from the Report of the Inspector of the district, that he was a satisfactory officer, and the Local Government Board declined to sanction the appointment. A lengthened correspondence ensued, and, in the month of May, 1880, the Guardians advertised for a master, and, by a very large majority, re-elected Mr. M'Cormac. An Inspector was then directed to report about him as to his qualifications, and as it appeared that he had gained some experience during the previous months, the Report was more favourable than the previous one, and his appointment was sanctioned. Complaints have since been made respecting him; and after an inquiry, held in May last, the Local Government board requested that both the master and matron might be called on to resign; but, in deference to the wishes of a large majority of the Guardians, the Board allowed them both another trial. The Inspector in charge of the district (Mr. Richard Hamilton), who held the inquiry, recommended that this course should be adopted; but, if any further charges against the master are proved, the Local Government Board will certainly insist on his resignation.