§ MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. J. K. Miller, of Muckamore, County Antrim, on calling at the office of the clerk of the Antrim Union, on the 26th June last, in order to purchase a grave in the New Antrim Cemetery for the interment of his child, found no one in attendance; and, on a second visit, and after waiting half-an-hour, was informed by a porter that the clerk of the Union, and also the master, had gone to Oldstone Fair, and that the time of their return was uncertain; and that Mr. Miller, as a last resource, applied to the caretaker at the cemetery, who at first refused to open the grave or receive payment except on an order from the clerk, but eventually yielded on the request of a medical man who happened to be present; whether he is also aware that the Guardians, whilst acknowledging receipt of the payment, refuse to give Mr. Miller the usual certificate of ownership of the grave, and call upon him to attend before them and explain why he said he would report their officials for neglect of duty; and what action the Local Government Board will take on Mr. Miller's complaints?
MR. J. MORLEY
The occurrences referred to in the first paragraph took place on the 13th June, and the facts are generally as stated. The Rule requires that one day's notice should be given to the caretaker prior to an interment, except in certain cases, of which, however, the present was not one. It is a fact that the clerk to the Burial Board accepted payment of the fee through the caretaker, and sent Mr. Miller a receipt for the same, but it is not the fact, I am told, that the Board have called upon him to attend before them and explain his conduct. The Burial Board require him to make a formal application to them for a certificate of ownership, as that has been the procedure hitherto adopted. The Burial Board certified that the caretaker has no power to let graves, and that application should be made direct to them in such matters; but I think that, by friendly intercession on the part of the Local Government Board, and in view of 1293 all the circumstances, the Burial Board may be induced to waive the point in the present instance.