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
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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