Although government run poor relief was in existence in Cork City from the 1735, the Cork City Poor Law Union was not officially declared until 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1841 at a cost of £20,800. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 2,600 inmates. The Cork City Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Ballincollig, Blarney, Carnavar, Carrigaline, Cork City, Cove, Glanmire, Grehagh, Inniscarra, Inniskenny, Kilquane, Monkstown, Rathcoony, and Whitechurch.
In 1924 the Cork City Workhouse became the county home.
The Cork City Workhouse site is now occupied by St Finbar's hospital with several of the original buildings still in use.
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