The Thomastown Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1850. The Workhouse was opened in 1854 at a cost of £7,465. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 600 inmates. The Thomastown Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Aghaviller, Ballyhale, Ballyvool, Bennetsbridge, Bramblestown, Castlebanny, Castlegannon, Coolhill, Danesfort, Ennisnag, Famma, Freaghana, Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh, Inistioge, Jerpointchurch, Kilfane, Kilkeasy, Kiltorean, Knocktopher, Pleberstown, Powerstown, Stonyford, Thomastown, Tullaherin, Ullard, and Woolengrange.
In 1888 the Sister of the order of St John of God came into the Thomastown Workhouse to take over the nursing care on site.
In 1923 the Thomastown Workhouse was repurposed as the county home. Later, in 1957, the Workhouse was renamed St Columba's and was repurposed once more to become a center that is solely for the care of the elderly. Some of the original buildings still survive.
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