Boyle Poor Law Union was formally declared on the 20th August 1839. The workhouse (erected 1840-41 on a six-acre site at the south of Boyle) was declared fit for the reception of paupers on 6th December 1841. It opened the week of 20 December and received its first admissions on 31st December.
Boyle PLU covered an area of 283 square miles and 16 electoral divisions as listed below:
Co. Sligo: Ballinafad, Kilmactrany, Kilshaloy, Shancough, Toomour.
Co. Sligo and Co. Mayo: Coolavin, Kilfree, Kilturid.
Co. Sligo and Co. Roscommon: Ardcarn, Ballinamein, Boyle, Breedoge, Croghan, Keadue, Rockingham, Shankill.
The building, designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, was to accommodate 700 inmates.
An entrance and administrative block at the east contained a porter's room and waiting room at the centre. The board room on the first floor above served 25 Guardians who met there every Saturday at noon. This block was later extended at each side for children's accommodation and school-rooms.
The main accommodation block had the Master's quarters at the centre, with male and female wings to each side. At the rear was a range of single-storey utility rooms such as bakehouse and washhouse with the infirmary and idiots' wards in a separate block at the west.
The workhouse buildings no longer exist.
The Great Famine 1845-51
During the famine in the mid-1840s, sheds were erected to accommodate additional inmates. The idiot wards were extended to accommodate fever patients and a 44-bed fever hospital was erected at the south-west of the site. A burial ground was situated nearby.
A memorial (erect'd 1910) dedicated to workhouse inmates buried there, can be found in the old burial grounds Plunkett Avenue.
Records for this workhouse do not exist in any known archive.