§ MR. JOHNSTON(for Lord ERNEST HAMILTON) (Belfast, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is customary for Protestants to be detained in Roman Catholic Reformatories; whether it has come to his notice that Charles M'Clintock, of Ardstraw, county Tyrone, a Protestant, and the son of Protestant parents, has for three years been detained in the Glencree Roman Catholic Reformatory; whether an application from the parents in January last to the late Lord Lieutenant, to have him transferred to a Protestant Reformatory, was refused; and, whether, in consideration of the unusual nature of the case, and the anxiety of the parents on the subject, he will give directions to have him transferred to a Protestant Reformatory?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
The boy who is the subject of this Question was a tramp wandering about the country, neglected by his parents, and entirely free from parental guidance and restraint. He was convicted of larceny in the county of Meath, and as he represented himself to be a Roman Catholic he was sent to a reformatory school in connection with that Church. He was there for more than two years before any question as to his religion was raised. It has been ascertained by very discreet inquiry that he wishes to be a Roman Catholic, and is determined, if discharged, to continue in that faith. He is old enough to have an opinion of his own, being in his 17th year. In these circumstances it does not appear to me that it would be likely to tend to the boy's welfare to transfer him against his will to a Protestant school, or to send him back to the parents who neglected him in his childhood.