Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Irish Workhouse, Portumna, Co Galway (Part 2)

I am afraid you will not understand this post unless you read Part 1 on MONDAY’S post regarding the Irish Workhouse at Portumna, Co, Galway, Ireland. Below is an original door from the workhouse.

As was the case with many other workhouses, towards the end of 1884, the Mercy Sisters began to visit Portumna workhouse on a daily basis to perform hospital duties. In March 1886, they set up and moved into St. Vincent’s Hospital in the workhouse.  The workhouse closed in 1922.

People remember the last caretaker, Nora Whyte who refused to leave and often was seen standing at that door above, dressed all in black and had a long key hanging by her side.  She passed away in the late 1960s.  She also looked after the pound for stray animals which was located in the women’s yard.

After visiting the Irish Workhouse,  I then visited the extreme opposite - Portumna Castle that I hope soon to show you in a post on MONDAY 20 August but before that, I want to show you very moving sculptures made out of Bog Oak illustrating the people  during these hard times in the workhouse on
next MONDAY 13 August

There is a very interesting LINK regarding this workhouse if you wish to avail yourself of it and want to learn more about the history of it.

I am once again away on holidays to the Isle of Wight.

Many thanks for visiting and also for your comments.


  1. Heartbreaking. Particularly the separation of families.

  2. What a dreadful place! And the diets! No meat or fruit...many of the people would have rickets.

  3. It's good that this is kept as a reminder of how wrong we can go--- at any time.

  4. Such a lot of history here, thank you for sharing it Margaret. A dreadful time to be sure.

  5. These posts have been SO fascinating and disturbing, Margaret!

  6. Thanks for sharing this history. What I knew of these times came only from reading fictional accounts.