St Michans (Dublin)

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Dublin North Workhouse on Historic 25 inch map (1897-1913)
Dublin North Workhouse on Historic 25 inch map (1897-1913)

The Dublin North Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was an extension and re-design of the pre-existing houses of industry, which had been in operation as poor relief in North Dublin since 1772. It was intended to accomodate 2,000 inmates from the areas of North Dublin City, Howth, Blanchardstown, Castleknock, Clontarf, Coolock, Drumcondra, Fnglas, and Glasnevin. The new Workhouse opened in 1840. 

In 1918 the Dublin North Poor Law Union was amalgamated into the Dublin South one. The newly formed Dublin Union was based at the former Dublin South site and the Dublin North site was repurposed for military use. 


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  • My grandfather was born in the Dublin North Workplace in 1905. Something that his wife only found out about in the 1960's when he had to apply for a passport. A government investigation into the mortality rates at the Dublin North Workplace for the 3 years ended 1904 reported a 40% mortality rate. Two of his brothers were part of the "boarding out" scheme meaning they were sent to help on farms many miles from Dublin - their home. Critics condemned this system as on many farms such childen were treated as "virtual slaves". Both brothers later joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and were killed in WW1 - my grandfather emigrated. I understand the site is going to be part of the Technology University Dublin Grangegorman campus - are there any plans to acknowledge the sites history?

    Wednesday 22nd April 2020 03:27PM

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