Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum

Donaghmore , Co. Laois


Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum
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About Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum

Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum in Donaghmore, Co. Laois.

Visitors can see the rooms of an Irish workhouse almost exactly as they appeared in the late 1800s.

The Donaghmore Workhouse was built to house the most desperate people of Co. Laois. Paid for by a tax on local property owners, the workhouse was deliberately made as unattractive as possible so that its only residents would be those who had lost all hope.

People who entered the workhouse suffered the ultimate shame. Once inside, they gave up their clothes and put on rough workhouse uniforms. Families were split apart as boys and girls went to their dormitories, while adults were sent to others. Living conditions were grim. Inmates slept on rough mattresses of straw, covered with rags. The only toilet facilities were large tubs in centre of dormitories. Inmates worked at tasks during the day, then ate their meals in total silence.

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