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Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum

Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum

Midlands Ireland | County Laois

Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum is located in on the road between Borris-in-Ossory and Rathdowney, in Donaghmore, County Laois. It was one of the 130 workhouses built in Ireland during famine times, in mid-19th century (another 33 were established some time later). These institutions were operating until the 1920s as a means of providing relief for extremely poor people who could not support themselves. Here they would do some work in return for food and roof above the head. Living conditions in the workhouse were very harsh to do not encourage people to stay but it wasn't a prison, they could leave if they wanted. Donaghmore Workhouse was opened in September 1853 and closed in the September 1886. After Great Famine the number of people in workhouses decreased and became a place for those that society didn't accept: unmarried mothers, illegitimate children, orphans or mentally ill people. Now, the workhouse serves as a museum commemorating the tragedy of the Great Famine and tour guides explain the cruel rules of operation of this infamous institution. There is also agricultural exhibition depicting the rural way of life and tools that were common in Ireland up to 1960's.

    • Open all year:
      • Monday - Friday: 11am-5pm
      • (except Public Holidays)
    • Adult: €5
    • Students: €3
    • Groups (10+): €4
    • Family: €10
    • Phone: +353 (0)86 8296685
    • Phone: +353 (0)87 9172008
    • Website:
  • CAR PARK :
    • Yes

Photos from Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum