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Ballymahon, Co. Longford

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Ballymahon Poor Law Union was one of the second wave of Irish unions created between 1848 and 1850. Ballymahon Union formally came into existence on 26th April 1850. It was created from the southern part of the Longford Union and occupied an area of 153 square miles. In 1905, it comprised the following electoral divisions:

Co. Longford: Agharra, Ballymahon, Cashel East, Cashel West, Doory, Forgney, Foxhall, Kilcommock, Kilglass, Ledwithstown.
Co. Westmeath: Ardnagragh, Ballymore, Doonis, Noughavel, Piercetown, Templepatrick, Winetown.

The Guardians met each week at the workhouse on a Thursday.

The new Ballymahon workhouse occupied an 6-acre site to the south-west of the town. Designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, was designed to accommodate 600 inmates. Its construction cost £6,250 plus £1,370 for fixtures and fittings etc. The workhouse location and layout are shown on the 1914 map below.

Ballymahon workhouse site, 1914

The workhouse layout was similar to others from the same period, for example at Castletowndelvin, Donaghmore, Glenamaddy, Mountbellew, and Portumna. A pair of long two-storey entrances block at the north-east were connected by a central entrance archway. Immediately to the rear of the entrance, the workhouse chapel divided male and female inmates' quarters. A small hospital block lay at the south-west.

In 1901, the workhouse had 139 inmates and 8 officials in residence.

The workhouse site is now totally derelict and inaccessible.

Ballymahon former workhouse site, 2000.
© Peter Higginbotham.

Ballymahon former workhouse site, 2000.
© Peter Higginbotham.


  • 1905: Master - James Fox; Matron - Marcella Flynn; COI Chaplain - Rev Purefoy Poe; RC Chaplain - Rev. Francis Cahill; Medical Officer - Charles A Kenny; Schoolmistress - Sister RM Corcoran.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Longford County Library, Town Centre, Longford, Co.Longford. Holdings include Ballymahon Union minute books (1881-1921), etc.



  • None.

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