I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that one of the relieving officers of the Fermoy district, who was dismissed his office for irregularities committed by him after an inquiry by the Poor Law Board, has since been reinstated; whether he can state the reasons for his dismissal in the first instance; and why he was subsequently reinstated.
The relieving officer referred to in the Question was not actually dismissed. It is the duty of relieving officers to give allowances of outdoor relief at the houses of the applicants, but in this particular case the relieving officer required some of the poor people to travel long distances in order to receive their allowances from him, and treated them harshly in other ways. The Local Government Board requested the guardians to call for the relieving officer's resignation. The guardians, however, while strongly censuring the officer for his conduct, unanimously requested the Board to withdraw their demand for his retirement on this occasion, and the Board consented to do so, but upon the distinct understanding that he would be at once dismissed if any further dereliction of duty should occur.
Is it not the fact that the Local Government Board inquiry was brought about at the instigation of the guardians?
And had this man not been reprimanded on more than two occasions before the inquiry?
I quite agree that in Ireland, as in other places, it is very difficult to get guardians to act promptly and wisely in these matters. They are very often too kind-hearted, but the Local Government Board cannot always be quarrelling with them on that account. No doubt it would have been better if this man had been dismissed.