HC Deb 21 June 1898 vol 59 cc960-1
MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the case of Margaret Casey, of Faleens, in the union of Castlerea, who died on Friday, 1st April, and whose death is stated to have been caused by insufficient food for some months past; and whether the case has been inquired into; and, if so, what report has been made on the subject?


In an extract from a letter addressed to the Lord Mayor of Dublin by the Rev. J. Hurst, of Monastradan, Sligo, dated 20th April last, and published in the Dublin newspapers on the 2nd May, it was stated that in that district "the mother of a family died of starvation." The Local Government Board at once directed their inspector, Dr. Flinn, to make inquiries as to the truth of this statement, and he reported that the woman referred to was a Mrs. Casey, of Faleens, in Boyle Union, who held about three acres of land. He visited the house where she died, and saw her two daughters, both adults, who indignantly denied that there was any truth in the report that their mother died of starvation. They stated that there was plenty of food in the house when Mrs. Casey died, including bread, milk, Indian meal, and potatoes. Dr. Flinn has now seen the medical officer who attended the deceased woman. He informs him that he visited her on a red ticket on the 29th March, and found her to be suffering from bronchitis and influenza. She was a, well-nourished, fat woman, and did not appear in any way to have suffered from want of food. She died on 1st April, and the cause of death registered was "Influenza." The relieving officer states that the woman was not in want, but on the recommendation of the medical officer he supplied tea, whisky, and beef for beef tea. Mrs. Casey's family did not find it necessary to apply to the guardians for a coffin for their mother. There is, therefore, absolutely no foundation for the statement that this woman died of starvation, or that her death was in any way hastened by want of food. I may add that the inspector on two different occasions endeavoured to see the Rev. Mr. Hurst, but found him from home. Dr. Flinn. however, met the Bishop of Achonry on 24th May and inquired if he thought it would be desirable to have an inquiry on oath into the circumstances attending Mrs. Casey's death, but the bishop stated that he did not want such an inquiry.