IN 1919 the secretary of the Gilford Nursing Society wrote to Banbridge Rural Council, stating that a nurse in connection with the society was, in the course of her work, practically carrying out the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme.
Miss Martin, of the Vicarage, asked the council to recognise the nurse’s work and give a grant towards it in order that it might be carried out efficiently.
Council chairman, Mr. Thomas Lockhart, said that some time previously a council committee had been appointed to meet the Gilford Nursing Society on the subject.
On doing so it found that the demands of the society fell far short of what the council was prepared to give, and the matter fell through; the council at the time made an offer of £16.
The council’s Mr. James Baird said the time had come when they should study and “stamp their feet on these grants”.
If they looked at the rise of rates, he said, they would find themselves in the “dinstinguished unfavourable position” of having the highest increase in Co. Down, bar one; it was time the people would look at what they were doing in the interest of ratepayers and put a stop to these things.
Said the chairman, “Of course what you say is true, but they are crippled for want of money in Gilford.
The clerk said any grant the council gave would be half borne by the LG Board.
Mr. R. Fryar was inclined to renew the previous offer of £16.
Said Mr. Baird, “What about the districts which will get no benefit at all from this nurse. In Dromore they have appointed a nurse on their own account and have undertaken to pay her.
The chairman said it was for the Dromore people to come and ask for a grant too.
“I think the Gilford people should do the same as the Dromore people,” said Mr. Baird, “and I propose that we pass away from it.” Mr. J. Byrnes seconded.
Mr. J. Kennedy, meanwhile, seconded Mr. Fryar’s proposal.
Nine members voted in favour of offering the £16 grant; seven in favour of Mr. Baird’s amendment.