HC Deb 23 February 1905 vol 141 cc1107-9
MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that Dr. Kelly, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, has been permitted by the Lord-Lieutenant, and contrary to the advice and remonstrance of the inspectors of lunatic asylums, to detach 350 lunatics from the County Asylum in Cork and lodge them in an unused industrial school at Youghal, which he had prepared for this purpose, that the Bishop received a capitation grant for each patient, that there is no resident doctor to take charge of these patients, nor any qualified nurses in charge of them, † See (4) Debates, cxxxviii., 1214. that the hose, built and arranged for a doctor, has been handed over to the chaplain, and that the resident medical superintendent of the Cork Asylum has been refused permission to visit the auxiliary asylum; and, if so, will he say what steps, if any, does he intend taking in the matter.


In 1901 the Lord-Lieutenant, under Section 9 (4) of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, signified his approval of the plans for the conversion of an industrial school building at Youghal into an auxiliary asylum, established for about 400 patients under, the 76th Section of that Act. The plans, which were submitted in 1900 by the Cork District Asylum Committee, of which Dr. Kelly, Lord Bishop of Ross, is a member, were recommended for His Excellency's approval by the inspectors of lunatic asylums. A capitation grant 1of 2s. per week is payable for each patient in the auxiliary asylum under Sections 58 and 76 of the Act. There is no resident doctor, as the committee decided to appoint a visiting medical officer instead, but the consent of the Lord-Lieutenant to the appointment of a visiting medical officer has only been given as a tentative measure, which will be open to reconsideration in the event of the arrangement being found defective. The institution has been placed in charge of a community of nuns, who are assisted by ordinary asylum attendants. It is understood that only Catholic patients are to be sent to the auxiliary. The house, built for a doctor, has been handed over as a residence for the chaplain. The resident medical superintendent of the Cork Asylum has not been refused permission to visit the auxiliary asylum, but the committee of management have passed, resolutions taking away from the resident medical superintendent all responsibility for the discipline and domestic management of the auxiliary. The committee have been informed that these resolutions are illegal, and have been called upon to correct this illegality.


asked whether the nurses at this auxiliary asylum were fully qualified.


said he did not think the hon. Member apprehended the fact of the case. These people were harmless lunatics who did not require special nurses. They were gathered out of work houses and off the hill-side, and were given a comfortable home, such as could not be secured for them in a regular asylum except at a cost to the rates that was prohibitive.


asked if it was not the fact that the board of management of the Cork Lunatic Asylum recommended the establishment of the auxiliary asylum at Youghal in order to relieve the overcrowding. Had not the arrangement been productive of great public advantage, and had not the management of the auxiliary branch given satisfaction to everybody?


I have no further information to give to the House. It is a point on which controversy may centre, and I prefer not to answer any Question without having had an opportunity of looking into the matter.