§ MR. W. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Patrick O'Neill, lately deported from London to the North Dublin Union; whether he is aware of the fact that this man, an artist and sculptor, was 43 years a ratepayer in London, and at one time paid rates in three different parishes; that, owing to ill-health and other circumstances, he was obliged to seek parish relief; and that he was forcibly sent to Dublin, and separated from some unfinished work and his tools, which if in his possession would enable him to resume employment; and, whether he will inquire into this case and bring about a change in the law regarding the deportation of those Irishmen and women who have spent their labour-lives in Great Britain?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
I have made inquiries as to the case of Patrick O'Neill. I am informed by the Guardians of the parish of Camberwell, by whom he was removed to Ireland in December last, that for some years prior to August, 1894, he was continuously in and out of the workhouse, under the name of Joseph Jones, and that he again became chargeable in November, 1895. From a communication which I have received from the Lewisham Union, it appears that he was removed to Ireland by the Guardians of that Union in October last, and that the request that he might be removed to Ireland came from himself solely. He subsequently returned from Ireland to England, and it was on his return, when he became chargeable to the parish of Camberwell, that he was again removed. Prior to his removal by the Camberwell Guardians, inquiries were made at the addresses where it was stated that he had clothing and tools, but it was found that they were of little or no value, and that the persons holding them declined to give them up unless certain amounts owing, for which they were detained, were paid. Similar statements were made by the Guardians of the Lewisham Union as to the results of their inquiries with respect to the property alleged to belong to him. I have no confirmation of the statement of the man that he had been a ratepayer for 43 years in London, 777 and at one time paid rates in three different parishes. As regards the question as to the law of removal, I cannot add anything to what I said in reply to the hon. Member on 25th February last.