Loughrea (Galway)

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Loughrea Workhouse today
Loughrea Workhouse today

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

The Loughrea Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1842 at a cost of £8,700. 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 2,436 in 1849. The Loughrea Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Athenry, Ballynakill, Clonkeen, Craughwell, Duniry, Kilchreest, Kilconierin, Killenadeema, Killimordaly, Kilmeen, Kilrickle, Kiltulla, Loughrea, Portumna, and Tynagh. 

As workhouses aroung the county were being closed in the 1920's, the most destitute of inmates were relocated to Loughrea Workhouse which continued to be used as the County Home. Today the Workhouse is in the ownership of the HSE and is used as a medical centre. 


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  • There is much information about Loughrea workhouse in my book,  "The Leaving of Loughrea".  It also describes the departure, voyage and reception of three girls from my family to Australia under the Earl Grey Scheme.  Two girls were from Loughrea workhouse and one from Ballinasloe.  The book describes life in the Loughrea from about 1818 to 1848  and gives a background to causes of the dreadful problems of that times.  It also describes voyages of Irish emigrants to the USA and to England.   It is best obtained from Amazon.  Thanks, Stephen Lally


    Monday 11th November 2019 10:02AM
  • I have your book and enjoyed finding some ancestors mentioned.  Thank you for writing it.


    Friday 10th April 2020 05:43PM
  • The Galway Archives holds the Board of Guardians Minute Books, but does not have the Admissions Books. Anyone know of they still exist? 


    Thursday 21st January 2021 12:24AM
  • I was wondering the same thing.  My great grandmothers death record lists the Loughrea County Home as her place of death in 1938.  She was from Dunmore, Galway. Ives written to several agencies in an attempt to locate any records for her without success.  I understand it is now run by St Brendan's.  I would love to find out where the records might be stored.  
    Mary Kozam


    Thursday 21st January 2021 01:08AM
  • My great grandfather's youngest brother, Thomas Mannion, died in the Loughrea County Home in 1943.  He'd lived in Dunmore - the youngest surviving child and the only one who stayed in Ireland to care for his parents in their old age.  Sad to think that he must not have had anyone to care for him.


    Saturday 27th November 2021 02:09AM

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