§ MR. HALPIN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state the specific neglect of duty of which Dr. O'Brien, of Ennistymon, in the county of Clare, was guilty, and for which the Local Government Board called for his resignation; whether all the patients who were the subject of the inquiry left the hospital cured; whether he is aware that the inquiry was held in spite of the repeated protests of the guardians; whether he is aware that the same official who presided at the inquiry collected evidence beforehand; and whether the board of guardians requested the Local Government Board to permit Dr. O'Brien to continue in office.
The cases of specific neglect of duty of which Dr. O'Brien was guilty, could not be properly stated within the limits of an answer to a Question. It is the fact that none of the patients who were the subject of the inquiry died in hospital, but this does not alter the Local Government Board's opinion as to the medical officer's neglect of duty. The inspector who held the 1426 formal inquiry on oath had, on the occasion of the previous visit to the workhouse in connection with the complaint of a patient that no proper professional assistance was rendered to him, made certain inquiries regarding some of the cases; and it is the fact that the board of guardians requested the Local Government Board to permit Dr. O'Brien to continue in office. It is the statutory duty of the Local Government Board to hold inquiries on oath in such cases, and they are empowered to remove an officer whom they find to have seriously failed in the discharge of his function; and as they considered that in this case they must, in justice to the sick poor at Ennistymon, exercise their powers, they called on Dr. O'Brien to resign, which he did.
No, I will not. I have looked into the case and I am satisfied the Local Government Board could not do otherwise than it has done.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
As no serious results followed the alleged neglect, will not the right hon. Gentleman meet the universal feeling of the district by giving the doctor at least another opportunity?
I am sorry to say I do not think I can. Serious results did follow and disease spread among a number of people.