Gort Workhouse

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The Gort Workhouse was opened in 1841, making it the first in the county to open and receive inmates. It was built at a cost of £6,500. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 500 inmates, but census records show that the true number of inmates reached as high as 1,773 in 1849. The Gort Workhouse was built to accommodate people from the areas of Ardrahan, Beagh, Kilbeacanty, Killeenavarra, Killeenaran, Kilmacduagh, Kiltartan, Kilthomas, Kinvara, and also Kilkeedy in Co. Clare. Gort Workhouse was inundated with debts due to severe mismanagement. In 1849, much of the contents of the Workhouse were sold off to pay these debts. The above information was provided by Mr Steve Dolan, Manager of The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co. Galway. Photos by Hannah Rushe