The Rathdown Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1841 at a cost of £6,600. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 600 inmates. The Rathdown Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Blackrock, Dundrum, Glencullen, Killiney, Kingstown, Rathmichael, and Stillorgan in Co. Dublin, and Bray, Powerscourt, and Delgany in Co. Wicklow.
The Rathdown Workhouse site is now occupied by St Columkille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, with some of the original buildings surviving.
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