The Dunmanway Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1841 at a cost of £6,200. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 400 inmates. The Dunmanway Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Ballymoney, Drinagh, Dunmanway, Inchageela, Kilmeen, Kilmicael, and Kilmurry.
In 1922 the Dunmanway Workhouse became a district hospital, the function which it still serves today as St Anthony's, with only a few of the original buildings still standing.
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