Reported in the News Letter on November 21, 1930: Doctor tells of violent episode in Lurgan Infirmary


The story of an uproar in a ward of Lurgan Infirmary, caused by a man awaiting committal to Armagh asylum, was told to Lurgan Board of Guardians by Dr T May.

Dr May was speaking of the danger in the practice of sending lunatics into the infirmary before their committal to the county asylum.

Recently, he said, a man was admitted and after a few hours he became violent. In the ward there were 40 post-op patients in the charge of two nurses. What followed passed description. This lunatic struggled violently, upset dishes and delph, and the other patients were in a most nervous state. The police were summoned and had to remain in the ward til night with this violent man.

Dr May asked the Guardians to allow him to send home any lunatics whom friends sent to the infirmary, and also that in the event of the patients becoming insane in the hospital, he is allowed to engage male or female assistance to control them.

Mr Calvert (clerk) said it was the practice for friends of an insane person to send him to the hospital for committal in order to avoid personal expense. Mr Baillie, JP, said that that was not a proper thing to do and should not be allowed. The proper course was to have the insane person committed from his or her home.

The Guardians acceded to Dr May’s application.