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Poor Law—Deportation Of Female Paupers—Question

Volume 230: debated on Thursday 29 June 1876

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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.