Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Strabane Workhouse - John Molloy
The Strabane Poor Law Union was set up in the month of April 1838 and the erection of the workhouse began soon after, much to the dismay of the rich land owners who offered paying taxes to alleviate the suffering of the poor and starving. The building was finished in 1841. A board of guardians were formed to administer the running of the workhouse. In 1845 the great famine began and hundreds went to the workhouse to receive aid. The workhouse was run in a very disciplined way and there were penalties for not following the rules. The estimated numbers of the destitute in 1846-47 from the Strabane and District parishes were as follows: Camus - 2047, Urney - 1533, Leckpatrick - 1134 and Donagheady - 2025. The town was slow to recover from the famine and the workhouse played a big part in times of desperation. The building can now be viewed as the new Strabane District Council Offices at 41 Derry Road, Strabane.