HC Deb 08 May 1888 vol 325 cc1611-2
MR. CAREW (Kildare, N.)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, with reference to the prosecution for insurance frauds at Belfast, Whether his attention has been called to the statements made by Mr. Young, solicitor for the accused man Orr, in the Belfast Police Court, on Friday last, and published in the Belfast papers of Saturday last, in which he told the Court that his client, J. Speers Orr, had been from the beginning, and was then, prepared to give unconditionally every assistance in his power to bring to justice the guilty parties who have been for some time back gambling on the lives of others in Belfast, and whose practices have given such a shock to its citizens; whether Mr. Young then pledged himself that, if the Crown took up the case, he would supply them with sufficient evidence to convict those who are at present not in custody, but "who were the first to formulate this dreadful plan of trafficking in human life;" whether he is aware that Mr. Matthews, a Town Councillor at Belfast, surrendered about £17,000 of life policies which had been fraudulently obtained, and that the surrender of these policies had been accepted by the Company which had charge of the recent prosecutions against Orr; whether the greater number of these policies were issued on the lives of persons who were in bad health when the proposals were made, and were obtained by means of forgeries, and on lives in which Matthews had no insurable interest, and without the consent of the persons assured; and, whether, considering the number of lives which have been so assured, and the general feeling of indignation and uneasiness which this discovery has given rise to in Belfast and throughout the country, the Government will now take steps to proceed against the principals whose dunes have been sent forward for trial?


The Attorney General for Ireland, having before him the result of the preliminary inquiries at the instance of the private prosecution in the case of the Belfast insurance frauds case, decided on conducting the prosecution on behalf of the Crown. It would be obviously improper for me to discuss the facts of individual charges; but I may state that the whole case is being thoroughly investigated, not only as regards the persons returned for trial, but with reference to every person implicated in the matter. The Attorney General has given full instructions in the matter which are being actively carried out, and no effort will be spared to bring all guilty persons to justice.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

Is it intended to allow the venue to remain at Belfast?


I have no special information on that point.