BirrCounty Offaly

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Birr Workhouse from above
Birr Workhouse from above

Note: At the time of construction of the Workhouse, Birr was known as Parsonstown and County Offaly was known as King's County. 


The following information was provided by Mr Steve Dolan, Manager of The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co. Galway

The Birr Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1842 at a cost of £8,285. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 800 inmates, but census records show that the true number of inmates reached as high as 2,300 in 1849. The Birr Workhouse was built to accommodate people from the areas of Aglishcloghane, Banagher, Ballingarry, Dorha, Drumcillen, Eglish, Ferbane, Frankfort, Kilcolesman, Kinnety, Lemanagan, Letter, Lockeen, Lorha, Lusmagh, Seirkyrans, Parsonstown (Birr), Shannon Bridge, Shannon Harbour, Tissarin, and Uskeane.

Birr Workhouse was closed in 1921 and has been used by a number of different small businesses throughout the years. Recent announcements have revealed that the building is going to be redeveloped as a dementia care facility. 


For more information see here Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Type of Building:



  • Are there lists of persons who lived in the Birr Workhouse during the famine years? I am looking for John C. Cahill, born 15 June 1833, emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1850-1852.

    I am his great-great granddaughter,

    Karen Theriot Reader


    Thursday 9th April 2020, 08:53PM
  • Hello,

    Have you created a Chronicle for your Ancestor? If not then I would advise creating one and linking them to the Workhouse. This will bring your Ancestor to the attention of our wonderful volunteers who may be able to provide you with some pointers.

    With regards to finding records from the Workhouse, your best bet is to contact the relevant County Council Archive.

    Best of luck with your search

    IrelandXO Team

    Chronicles Editor

    Friday 10th April 2020, 08:57AM
  • Are there any records as I found out from research that my great great grandfather Daniel Mulrooney died in the Parsonstown Workhouse on 21 March 1873. His daughter Bridget married William Campbell who was in the Birr Militia abd they lived in Moore Park road 


    Saturday 2nd January 2021, 07:55PM
  • Hi there, 

    Your best bet for records is to contact the Offaly County Council Archivist. This link should be helpful

    Chronicles Editor

    Monday 4th January 2021, 12:26PM

Communities Associated with this Building