The Ballyshannon Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1840. The Workhouse was opened in 1843 at a cost of £6,950. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 600 inmates, but census records show that the true number of inmates was close to 1,000 during the height of the Great Famine. The Ballyshannon Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Ballintra, Ballyshannon, and Bundoran in Co. Donegal, Glenade and Kinlough in Co. Leitrim, and Belleek, Boho, Church Hill, Devenish and Innissmac Saint in Co. Fermanagh.
In 1921, the Ballyshannon Workhouse was occupied by the Irish Republican Army, and the remaining inmates were transferred to the infirmary.
Today the Ballyshannon Workhouse site is occupied by a secondary school.
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