I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the action taken by the Local Government Board relative to a complaint made by Nurse Geddes, of the Derry workhouse infimary, respecting the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Morris, both guardians of the union, to see a patient in the infirmary on the 28th April last; whether the Local Government Board, without asking for an explanation from the guardians in question or making any inquiry into the allegations made against them, but merely acting upon the unsupported statement of Nurse Geddes, wrote a letter, dated 17th May, to the board of guardians condemning the action of Mr. and Mrs. Morris as being most injudicious and calculated to affect seriously the chances of the patient's recovery; and if, having regard to the injury to the personal and public reputation of Mr. and Mrs. Morris in consequence of the charges and by the public censure involved in the letter of the Local Government Board, he will direct a full inquiry, if necessary upon oath, into all the circumstances connected with this matter.
In this case the nurse in charge of the infirmary ward complained that Mr. and Mrs. Morris visited the ward after visiting hours, and, despite her protests, insisted on speaking to a patient who was in a critical condition, with the result that the patient became much excited and was for a time seriously affected. The nurse's report came before the guardians who, upon a motion seconded by Mrs. Morris herself, requested the Local Government Board to take such action in the matter as they deemed right. The Board replied in the terms indicated in the Question. As regards the concluding part of the Question the Board wrote to Mr. Morris on 3rd June last, asking if he was prepared to deny the accuracy of certain statements made in the nurses report, but he has never done so. If, however, he is prepared to do so, the Board will hold an inquiry on oath into the matter.