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St Stephen's Green, Dublin

Volume 230: debated on Thursday 29 June 1876

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asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, If it is true that the Government undertook to re- commend to Parliament to grant an annual sum for the maintenance of St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, as a people's park; whether they have communicated to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the said city the conditions upon which the Government would adopt such a course (if its adoption was to be conditional);and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of all Correspondence and documents relating to this subject?

It is true that the Government undertook to recommend to Parliament the grant of an annual sum for the maintenance of St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, as a people's park. They did so under the following circumstances:—Early last spring the Colleague of the hon. Member (Sir Arthur Guinness) entered into negotiations with the Commissioners of the Green and the Town Council, which resulted in the very handsome offer on his part to pay off a debenture debt of about £2,200 on the Green, and expend £3,000 (afterwards increased to £5,000) on improvements, provided the Commissioners would surrender their exclusive rights in favour of the public. The Corporation, on its part, by a resolution of the 12th of May, agreed to forego the yearly rent of £276 which it is entitled to receive from the Commissioners; and, further, to contribute a moiety of the yearly expense of maintaining the grounds as a park, provided such moiety should not exceed £600 per annum. Thereupon the Government undertook to place the Green under the charge of the Board of Works, and to ask Parliament to vote annually the remaining moiety of the cost of maintenance. A Bill has been prepared to give effect to this arrangement; but I regret to say that I now learn that the Town Council of Dublin are desirous of receding from their share in the agreement, and in that case I fear that the people of that city will be deprived of a much-needed improvement offered them by the liberality of their senior Member. I apprehend that there will be no objection to produce the correspondence, but I should like to examine it first.

Poor Law—Deportation Of Female Paupers—Question

asked the President of the Local Government Board, If his attention has been called to the deportation from Nottingham Union to Limerick Union of two female pauper lunatics in May of this year; if so, whether the evidence connected with their past residence in Nottingham seems to his Board to have warranted their deportation; whether it is not in accordance with the custom of the department that a female official should accompany such paupers on deportation, and whether this principle has not on this occasion been violated, the female paupers in question being accompanied on the journey from Dublin to Limerick at night by a male official only; whether a Mr. Nugent, a ratepayer of Nottingham, has not by letter complained to the Nottingham Board of Guardians that, on calling at the Nottingham Workhouse to inquire into the case, he was assaulted by one of the officials of the union; and, whether the Local Government Board has undertaken, or will undertake, an inquiry into the circumstances?

in reply, said, his attention had been called to the case, and he had been in communication with the Nottingham Guardians on the subject. Yesterday he saw the Chairman of the Board and the clerk, who had come to town, and who furnished him with the depositions taken by the magistrates, and gave him other information as to the facts of the case. As far as he was able to judge, the removal of the two women seemed to him to have been entirely in accordance with the law. There was no regulation as to the necessity of a female accompanying paupers under such circumstances. They were required by law to be properly attended and accompanied. As a matter of fact, a skilled female nurse did accompany the two female paupers in question during the night passage from Holy head to Dublin, and only during the three hours' journey from Dublin to Limerick were they left in the company of a male attendant. It was true that Mr. Nugent had complained to the Nottingham Board of Guardians that he was assaulted by the porter of the establishment; but it was understood the assault would be made the subject of an investigation before the magistrates, and until it was concluded the Guardians did not think that it was proper to interfere in the case.