HC Deb 08 December 1893 vol 19 cc807-8
MR. BODKIN (Roscommon, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the complaint made of alleged proselytism in the Athlone Workhouse, whether the person referred to, an old woman named Mrs. Manning, of her own free will, desired to have a priest sent for, for the purpose of being received into the Catholic Church; is he aware that previous to the morning of her reception, the priest, the very Rev, Thomas Langan, D.D., had never spoken to the woman in question, though she had been a year in the hospital of the Union; that on the morning in question the Rev. Mr. Langan, having had the wish of the woman conveyed to him by the master, directed that the matter should be at once communicated to the Rev. Mr. Campbell, the Protestant chaplain, and delayed his visit for an hour that the Rev. Mr. Campbell might first have an opportunity of visiting the woman; whether the woman was in full possession of her faculties on the Sunday she was received into the Catholic Church; whether he is aware that the Protestant chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Campbell, wrote a letter in which he denounced some of the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and for which he was publicly reprimanded by the Chairman of the Board; and whether the Local Government Board will take steps to prevent the repetition of such conduct on his part?


The matter referred to in this question has formed the subject of inquiry by the Local Government Board, whose Inspector has proceeded to the Union and taken statements from the workhouse's officers concerned, excepting the Protestant chaplain, who was absent when the Inspector arrived. The Board have communicated these statements to the chaplain, and, until they shall have received his reply, they are unable to arrive at an opinion or say what further action is called for in the matter.


About what date may I expect a reply?


I cannot say.