§ MR. DONAL SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Donegal I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) is he aware that on the 7th February the house of Widow Anne M'Cole, Keadue, Burtonport, county Donegal, was burned, by order of the Board of Guardians, While Mrs. M'Cole and her seven children were inmates of the Glenties workhouse hospital; that on the 9th February the whole family were discharged, although it was known to the Board that they had no house to go to; and that they had since been obliged to live in an outhouse which a charitable person permitted them to occupy; (2) is he also aware that the Guardians allege they cannot rebuild the premises unless compelled by an action at law, a proceeding which the poor family in question are utterly unable to have recourse to; and (3) whether, under these circumstances, he will direct that steps shall be taken by the Local Government Board to provide another dwelling for Mrs. M'Cole and her children, or otherwise compensate them for the destruction of their home by order of the local authorities?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I understand the facts are as stated with substantial accuracy in the first and second 1056 paragraphs. It would not, in my opinion, be proper to require this poor woman to embark in costly litigation, which the course suggested by the Guardians would involve, and an intimation has been conveyed to the Guardians that the Local Government Board are unable to concur in the views expressed by them. The Board consider that it is competent to the Guardians to take action in this case under the Labourers Acts, and have recommended them to adopt this course. The matter will again be considered by the Guardians at their next Meeting.