HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1084-5
MR. J. L. CAREW (Dublin, College Green)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) has his attention been called to the report of an inquest held at the North Dublin Union, on the 20th instant, on the body of a child named Mary Davis, where the jury found that the deceased died of starvation, caused by the negligence of the pauper nurse in charge to provide proper and sufficient food; (2) whether he is aware that, at a meeting of the Board of Guardians on Wednesday last, Mr. Keogh, one of the Guardians, is reported to have stated that he had reason to know that the mothers of 2i illegitimate children were doing noising in the workhouse; and (3) whether in view of these disclosures and the strong condemnation of the system of pauper nursing by the Irish Catholic hierarchy and the Irish press, he will take steps towards its total abolition in Ireland?


The verdict of the Coroner's jury is correctly stated in the Question. The conduct of the officers concerned is under investigation by a Committee of the Guardians, and will probably form the subject of an Inquiry on oath by the Local Government Board. Mr. Keogh is reported in the press to have made the statement attributed to him in the second paragraph of the Question. As a matter of fact, however, only four women of this class are employed in the hospital. The Local Government Board are of opinion that the abolition of pauper nursing in Irish workhouses would, if practicable, be most desirable, but it is extremely doubtful whether an Order of the Local Government Board to Guardians to substitute paid nurses for pauper nurses could be practically enforced in the present state of the law. For many years past the Board have been advising Boards of Guardians to appoint paid assistant nurses instead of pauper nurses.