Mohill, Co. Leitrim
Mohill Poor Law Union was formed 12th September 1839 and covered an area of 215 square miles. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 22 in number, representing its 13 electoral divisions as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
Co. Leitrim: Aghavas (2), Annaduff (2), Armaghveagh (2), Ballinamore (2), Carrigallen, Cloone (2), Drumreilly, Eslin, Fenagh, Mohill (3), Newtown Gore (2), Oughteragh, Rinn (2)
The Board also included 7 ex officio Guardians, making a total of 29. The Guardians met each week on Thursday.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 66,858 with divisions ranging in size from Drumreilly (population 2,954) to Mohill itself (7,672).
The new workhouse, built in 1840-42, occupied a 6-acre site on the west side of Hyde Street at the south of Mohill. It was designed to accommodate 700 inmates. Its construction cost £6,700 plus £1,280 for fixtures and fittings etc. It was declared fit for the admission of paupers on 25th April 1842 and admitted its first inmates six weeks later on 8th June. The site location and layout are shown on the 1912 OS map below.
The buildings broadly followed Wilkinson's standard layout although on the basis of the 1912 map appear to have lacked the usual separate entrance block. The porter's room and Guardians' board room were presumably incorporated into the main accommodation block which would also have had the Master's quarters at the centre, and male and female wings to each side. At the rear, a range of single-storey utility rooms such as bakehouse and washhouse connected through to the infirmary and idiots' wards via a central spine containing the chapel and dining-hall.
During the famine in the mid-1840s, a fever hospital was erected at the south of the workhouse. A dispensary was located near to the road at the north.
At the 1901 census, the population of the Union was 19,854.
The former Mohill workhouse has now been demolished.
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.
Leitrim County Library, Main Street, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim.
- Mohill Union: Minute books (1839-1922, some gaps); Rough minute books (1843-64, some gaps); Accounts (1842-97, some gaps).
- Carrigallen Dispensary District: Minute book of management committee (1852-99)
- Rowan (Fenagh) Dispensary District: Minute book of Management Committee (1852-94).
- Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopedia (2014, The History Press)
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