The Irish in America


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Irish Workhouse Centre

Wondering what’s been happening at the Irish Workhouse CentreClick here for the very latest on the Portumna, County Galway, Ireland workhouse restoration and redevelopment.

I first learned about the Irish Workhouse Centre on Loretto Leary’s fantastic website, Breise! Breise! Loretto has written several articles on the project, as well as conducted interviews with the folks involved – see it all here.

The inaugural newsletter of the Irish Workhouse Centre is full of great information, including an article on the Female Orphan Scheme which sent orphaned girls from the workhouse to Australia.

As an introduction to Irish workhouses, the following historical tidbit appears in the newsletter:

Did you know that 163 workhouses were built in
total in Ireland? 112 were built from 1839 to
1842. It must have been a strange sight at the
time to witness all these huge, foreboding
buildings springing up in the main towns.
All the workhouses were designed by George
Wilkinson. The workhouses were built by private
contract and would have taken about two years to
build.

Psst…if you haven’t read it yet, the September issue of Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine is available (and free!) online. Click here to view and be sure to check out the article on page 26.