HC Deb 24 April 1896 vol 39 cc1640-1

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, whether he has yet considered the question of removing pauper lunatics in workhouses in Ireland to properly-equipped asylums, where their condition may be alleviated by their special treatment and suitable surroundings; and whether, considering the illegality of the present mode of admitting them to the lunatic wards of workhouses, and also of detaining them and keeping them there under restraint without the colour of legal sanction, he will have inquiry made into the whole system, with the view to relieve the afflicted and to have this illegal system discontinued?


The removal of pauper lunatics from workhouses to asylums has engaged my careful attention in connection with the general question of workhouse administration in Ireland, and it will he found that the Poor Relief Bill, which I hope shortly to be able to introduce, will deal with the existing procedure connected with the detention of the insane poor in workhouses.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he will state the number of lunatics transferred from the county Antrim asylum to the union workhouse at Belfast since 1st January 1892; whether any, and if so how many of them, have been received unconditionally; and, what are the terms of agreement as to maintenance which were required by the Board of Guardians from the governors or superintendent of the asylum?


The number of lunatics transferred from the asylum to the union workhouse since the date mentioned in the Question was 65, all of whom have been received into the workhouse unconditionally, and no agreement was required by the Guardians of the nature indicated at the end of the Question.