MR. P. O'BRIEN
On behalf of the hon. Member for South Roscommon, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether the legal difficulty which he has stated stands in the way of an appointment of Resident Medical Superintendent to Portrane Lunatic Asylum also exists in the case of the Antrim County Asylum; and (2) whether the Board of Control are preparing accommodation for 700 patients to be in residence in Portrane by next June without any provision for a Medical Superintendent; and, if so, what steps will the Government take to remove the legal difficulty for the appointments?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The legal difficulty referred to in the first paragraph, does not exist in the case of the new asylum at Antrim, because the county of Antrim has been constituted a separate asylum district by the Belfast Lunatic Asylums Act of 1892. The Board of Control are urging forward the building of the new asylum at Portrane, though it is not anticipated that provision for the accommodation of as many as 700 patients can be completed by June next. As I have already stated, the patients now at Portrane are under the charge of a Resident Assistant Medical Officer. The question of removing the legal disability in the matter of the 1501 appointment of a Resident Medical Superintendent in cases similar to that of this asylum is being considered in connection with the Local Government Bill.