§ MR. W. REDMOND
On behalf of the hon. Member for South Roscommon, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Belfast District Lunatic Asylum is dangerously overcrowded, and that a new asylum for this district is already built and ready for occupation by patients, but cannot be utilised owing to the officers and staff not yet having been appointed by the Lord Lieutenant; also that 300 patients are under care and treatment in the new asylum at Portrane, of the Dub 742 lin district, without a superintendent medical officer in charge; and whether the necessary steps will be immediately taken to secure a satisfactory arrangement in the districts mentioned?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The Belfast District Asylum is seriously overcrowded. The new asylum at Antrim is not yet ready for occupation, though it is approaching completion. The determination of the officers and staff of the new asylum is at present under consideration, so that there may be no delay in the transfer of the patients when the asylum is completed. It is the fact, as stated, that there are 300 patients under care and treatment in the buildings erected at Portrane. The patients are under the charge of the resident assistant medical officer. There is a legal difficulty in the way of appointing a resident medical superintendent for the new asylum at Portrane.