The Limerick City Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1841 at a cost of £12,830. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 1,600 inmates. The Limerick City Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Abington, Ballybricken, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Crecora, Doon, Fedamore, Kilmurry, Limerick City, Murroe, and Patrickswell in Co. Limerick, and Kilfenaghta, Killeely, Killokennedy, Kilseely, and Kiltannonlea in Co. Clare.
The Limerick City Workhouse was one of the biggest in the country. Several extensions were put in place during the years of the Great Famine in order to cope with the severe over-crowding. This over-population meant that the medical care was severely compromised with records showing that in 1861 there were 400 inmates in the hospital wing being cared for by 3 nurses and a number of untrained inmates who also provided care.
The Limerick City Workhouse site is now occupied by St Camillus' Maternity Hospital.
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