It seems that new regulations were issued regarding the diet of Workhouse inmates, but Dr Molony, Tulla Union, in explaining the new regulations, reserves for himself the final say in the treatment of his patients:
Clare Freeman, Sat 8 Nov 1873:
SheilaTulla Union. The usual weekly meeting was held in the Board-room, Tulla, on Tuesday. Capt C G O’Callaghan in the chair. Others present: Major William Mills Molony, Colonel John O’Callaghan, Michael Rochford, John Molony, Cornelius Kearney, Daniel O’Connell, sen., Daniel O’Connell, jun, Robert Spaight and George Pepper, Esqrs.
New Scale of Diet.The Local Government Board forwarded a recommendation of their inspector, Mr Burke, that a new scale of dietary, dispensing with a large proportion of the extras in use at present, should be adopted. In compliance with this suggestion the following scale prepared by Dr Molony, was adopted:
I beg to suggest the following changes in the hospital dietary. I shall deal with each diet in order. With respect to low diet No 1 which consists merely of three pints of milk and 4 oz of bread. I recommend that a pint of tea be given instead of one of the pints of milk. Low diet No 2, a pint of tea to be given for breakfast instead of milk, the rice (2 oz) which forms a part of this diet may be discontinued, and 2 oz of bread be given instead, and half a pint of milk should be given at supper. No 3 diet may remain as it is, except that classes 5 and 6 (children) should get 4 oz of bread at supper. No 4 meal diet is one very rarely ordered, but I think with some alteration it might be made a very useful diet, breakfast should consist of 8 ounces of oatmeal and half a pint of milk; dinner 10 ounces of bread, and one pint of milk. Supper, 6 oz of bread and half a pint of milk. No. 5 diet to be made equal to the present “healthy infirm diet, “ for adult classes; 5 and 6 to remain as at present, except that they get 4 oz. of bread at supper. No. 6 diet to remain as it is. When those changes are made there will be less necessity for extras, but it will be obvious to you that it would be utterly impossible to draw up any scale of hospital dietary of so comprehensive a character as to meet every possible contingency. For example, on the day Mr Bourke, L.G. I., visited the workhouse, it so happened that all the patients, save one on low diet, were taking broth. It does not necessarily follow, however, that this should be constantly or invariably the case, and if broth were made a component part of low diet, not only would some persons be getting a certain amount of meat which they did not require, but some would have to get it to whom it might be positively injurious. Low diet (which is reserved for the very sick) must remain a low diet to be improved in any direction, and by whatever addition the medical officer may think advisable. In the treatment of disease there must be a large discretion allowed to the attendant physician fully as much in managing diet, as in giving medicine, and without this discretion it is impossible that he could treat his patients with confidence of success.’