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ITB Social Care Students visit Portumna Workhouse Centre

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03/10/2018 09:45:59



On the 2nd of October 2018, one hundred and thirty four ITB social care students visited one of the remaining workhouses that provided indoor relief to destitute Irish people during the Famine of 1845 to 1852. After the Famine, the remaining workhouses provided institutional care for looked after children, people with a disability or those with mental health issues.

ITB Lecturers, Deirdre Bonar, Fergus Comerford and Dr Denise Lyons, along with Mary Healy from the Workhouse Centre explained how people were treated in the workhouse and how social care services developed from the 1920s to our current provision of care. The event also included a tour around the workhouse and a visit to the bog oak sculptures by Kieran Tuohy. Kieran spoke to students about his inspiration for the sculptures and about how the kindness of strangers must also be remembered as an important part of the history of the Famine. The workhouse visit reminded students that the issues of the 1840s Ireland, poverty, displacement, separation, eviction and homelessness are still relevant today.

A special thanks to the staff of the Portumna Workhouse Centre, especially Mary Healy the Education Office and Steven Dolan the manager of South East Galway Integration Rural Development, for faciltating this visit.








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