Posted by: irishhungercomm | April 2, 2014

First National Conference on the Workhouse in Ireland

Sent: 4/1/2014 
Subj: First National Conference on the Workhouse in Ireland

We are organising a conference for May 2014.  I have attached a programme for your own interest and would greatly appreciate if you could circulate same to people with an interest.

Thank you.

Ursula Marmion
Irish Workhouse Centre

The Irish Workhouse Past & Present

National Conference – Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th May, 2014
Portumna, Co. Galway.

The Irish Workhouse Centre is located in the former Portumna Workhouse….telling the story of the workhouse as an institution in Ireland from the 1840s to the 1920s….a conservation & redevelopment work in progress.
Open 7 days a week from February to November.
tel: 00-353 (0)90-9759200

Peter Higginbotham is a writer and researcher best known for his extensive study of the workhouse and related institutions. He is the author of a number of books including The Workhouse Encyclopaedia, The Workhouse Cookbook, Voices from the Workhouse and A Grim Almanac of the Workhouse and the creator of the website He has also contributed to many radio and TV programmes including Who Do You Think You Are?, Heir Hunters, Coming Home and Secrets from the Workhouse.

Gerard Moran lectured at NUI Galway and at NUI Maynooth, where he was director of the MA in Irish History. He has published extensively on nineteenth-century Ireland and among his publications are Sending Out Ireland’s Poor: Assisted Emigration to North America in the Nineteenth Century; Land, Famine, Emigration and Politics and The Mayo
Evictions of 1860. He is joint editor of Galway: History and Society (Dublin, 1996) and of the forthcoming Mayo: History and Society.

Mairín Doddy is the Architectural Conservation Officer with Galway County Council. Mairín has been involved in the Irish Workhouse Centre Project from its onset, advising in particular on aspects of conservation and reuse.

Bill Marwick was born in York, Western Australia. His interest in family research led him to
Ireland to track down the origins of his great grandmother, Mary Ann Taylor. It transpired
that Mary Ann had been an ‘inmate’ in Mountbellew Workhouse. Aged 18, she received assisted passage to Australia in 1853. In his presentation, Bill recounts Mary Ann’s story. Bill is a former mayor and councillor of the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup. In 2009, he was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the Western Australia suburban newspaper industry, his local community and his contribution to the recorded history of the Cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup.

Laurence Geary is senior lecturer in history at University College Cork, where he teaches modern Irish history. He has published extensively on the social, political and medical history of nineteenth-century Ireland and on the history of the Irish in Australia.

Georgina Laragy completed her PhD Suicide in Ireland, 1831- 1921: a social and cultural study at NUI Maynooth in 2005. Since then she has worked as a Research Fellow on a variety of projects at Oxford Brookes, University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast. She is interested in all aspects of Irish social history and has published on poverty, murder and suicide.

Linda Lynch is a human osteoarchaeologist and a licensed archaeological director, with almost 20 years experience in Irish archaeology. Her osteoarchaeological research spans from the early Mesolithic to the late nineteenth century and includes the study of human remains in Manorhamilton, Cashel and Tuam workhouses. She recently completed a PhD in UCC on the osteoarchaeological evidence of health in post-medieval Ireland.

Sean Lucey is a historian of modern Ireland. He has written extensively on Irish social, economic, political and medical history and has a forthcoming book on the poor law in the
Irish Free State. He is currently an Arts and Humanities Research Fellow in Queen’s
University, Belfast and is researching and writing a book on public health in twentieth-century Belfast.

The Irish Workhouse Centre
is located in the former Portumna Workhouse.
…telling the story of the workhouse as an institution
in Ireland from the 1840s to the 1920s.
…a conservation & redevelopment work in progress.
Open 7 days a week from February to November.
tel: 00-353 (0)90-9759200

Saturday, 17th May
8.30 to 9.30 Registration – Tea/Coffee

9.45 Opening of Conference
Ciarán Cannon TD
Minister for Training & Skills

10.00 The Workhouse in Ireland
Peter Higginbotham

10.50 Tea/Coffee Break

11.10 Disorderly Conduct: Riots and
Insubordination in the Workhouses during
the Great Famine
Dr Gerard Moran

11.55 The Architecture of the Irish Workhouse
Mairín Doddy

12.30 Lunch

1.30 Health Care Provision under the
Irish Poor Law
Dr Laurence Geary

2.15 Children in Irish Workhouses

2.50 Tea/Coffee Break

3.10 A Galway Workhouse Girl in Australia
Bill Marwick

3.50 Open Forum

4.30 Guided Tour of the Irish Workhouse Centre

Sunday, 18th May

8.30 to 9.15 Registration – Tea/Coffee

9.30 The Poorhouses of Scotland
Peter Higginbotham

10.15 Tea/Coffee Break

10.30 A Regional Perspective on Poor Relief in Post
Famine Ireland
Dr Georgina Laragy

11.15 Osteoarchaeological Evidence from Irish
Workhouse Cemeteries
Dr Linda G. Lynch

12.00 Poor Law Reform and the End of the
Workhouse post 1920.
Perspectives from the North and South of
Dr Sean Lucey

12.45 Open Forum

1.15 Lunch

2.10 Fidelma Mullane
The Heritage Council

2.20 Overview of Workhouse Buildings Today
Emer Brannigan,
Irish Workhouse Centre

2.30 Presentations on some current
Workhouse Projects

Callan Workhouse, Co. Kilkenny –
Patrick Lydon

Donaghmore Workhouse, Co. Laois –
Trevor Stanley

Bawnboy Workhouse, Co. Cavan –
Tina Mac Intyre

Carrickmacross Workhouse,
Co. Monaghan – Kevin Gartland

Birr Workhouse, Co. Offaly –
Brian Rafferty

Kilmacthomas Workhouse,
Co. Waterford – Paul Barry

Portumna Workhouse, Co. Galway –
Ursula Marmion

3.45 Open Forum

4.15 Close of Conference:
Mayor of County Galway,
Cllr. Liam O’Carroll

4.30 Guided Tour of the Irish Workhouse Centre

This conference is organised by the Irish Workhouse Centre in partnership with the Heritage Office, Galway County Council. An Action of the Galway County Heritage
Plan 2010-2016

Upcoming Conference in Ballinasloe ‘Understanding Ireland’s Great
Famine. New Perspectives.’ 27th, 28th, 29th June, 2014

To Book/for Further Information tel: 090-9759200 email:
post: Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co. Galway

Conference Fee – Full Conference: €60 – One Day: €35 (space permitting)
Fee includes lunch and refreshments

A network meeting will be held after the conference in the Workhouse for people interested/involved in the conservation and reuse of Workhouse buildings.



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