The Clonakilty Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1848. The Workhouse was opened in 1853 at a cost of £8,300. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 700 inmates. The Clonakilty Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Abbeymahon, Ardfield, Argideen, Butlerstown, Cahermore, Castleventry, Clonakilty, Coolcrahen, Courtmacherry, Derry, Kilkerrnamore, Kilmaloda, Kilmoylerane, Kilnagross, Knocks, Rathbarry, Rosscarbery, Rossmore, Templeomalus, and Timoleague.
In 1920 the Clonakilty Workhouse was occupied by British forces.
The Clonakilty Workhouse site is now occupied by the local community hospital.
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