HC Deb 05 May 1898 vol 57 cc392-3

On behalf of the honourable Member for South Kerry I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that an inquest was held on the 27th ultimo, at Killurly West, near Cahirciveen, county Kerry, on the remains of a poor man named Joseph Griffin, at which the sworn evidence of Mary Griffin disclosed the fact that the deceased and his family had no potatoes since December, 1897, with the exception of some received from the union for seed purposes, a portion of which they were compelled to eat, and that the diet of the family for several months past was Indian meal mixed with a little flour wet with water, also black tea, without any milk, as a drink; that it was also sworn by Mary Griffin that the money she had earned as a hired servant to take her to America had to be spent by her to purchase food so as to prevent the family starving; and that it was sworn at the inquest that several members of the family, including the mother, were unwell and in delicate health for a long time, and that the coroner's jury stated in their verdict that the death of Joseph Griffin was accelerated by insufficiency of food; and whether he will take steps to prevent a recurrence of such incidents?


I have read a newspaper report of the proceedings at the inquest referred to in this Question, and have instructed the Local Government Board to hold an inquiry on oath, at the earliest possible date, into the circumstances surrounding the death of Griffin.


Is the right honourable Gentleman aware that the Local Government Board inspector was supplied with this man's name last December as being in immediate want of relief? Is it not the case that no steps were then taken?

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