Most of our older hospitals started out as the workhouse for the area and this one is no different. First constructed in 1840 and with many uses over the years, which all have brought its fair share of unpleasant history.
When the workhouse was completed it aimed to house approx 1200 patients. There was an entrance block along with the main accommodation block with master and matron quarters at the centre. As with all workhouses the male and female inmates were separated with their wings to each side.
The inmates would have been given menial tasks throughout the day and given basic living supplies and very little food. Conditions were poor to say the least. A workhouse was not somewhere you went willingly but only as the last resort. There is also a famine graveyard at the rear of the complex.
In the 1920s the workhouse was repurposed and the buildings were used to accommodate the elderly, disabled and people with various mental health conditions.
Unmarried mothers with their children were sent here and even orphaned and abandoned children made the listings. In 1927 there was a report made stating that 'it presented a cheerless appearance with everywhere being gloomy and cold. The accommodation provided is not sufficient in especially in winter months'
In 2003 saw the closure of the complex and in 2019 the buildings were listed for sale at the list price of 200, 000 euro.
Each block is in very poor condition with most floors being impossible to pass. Severe vandalism is visible in every room.
Although not much remains within the walls, there still lingers a sense of sadness. People came here for refuge and in most cases if they left at all they weren't in a much better place when they did.
Most of the buildings windows were boarded but the ones that weren't let in little light, keeping the mood sombre as we walked through its halls.
Hidden at the back of the site is what was known in famine times as the 'dead house'. The white slab still remains which would have been the last resting place for many.
As with all workhouses I come away thinking of the people who passed through here. How many left, how many never got out? I guess these are answers we'll never have but they are questions that we should never forget.