Desperate Haven: The Poor Law, Famine, & Aftermath in Dungarvan Union
ISBN : 9798605124016
Originally published in 1996, this book is the definitive study to date of the Great Famine (or Irish Potato Famine) and its effects in the towns and villages of West Waterford, Ireland. This long out of print and much sought after volume was the product of more than 5 years of research by Dungarvan Museum Society (now Waterford County Museum). It provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the poor in mid 19th century Ireland, the response of the authorities to the unfolding tragedy and the conditions which saw many Irish people create new lives for themselves in America, England, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.Tracing the development of the Dungarvan Poor Law Union from its establishment in 1839 to its abolition in 1920, the workhouse figures prominently in the story. The chapters covering the Famine period are based on the minute books of the Dungarvan Board of Guardians, the Famine Relief Papers in the National Archive, and contemporary newspapers.The book examines in detail the lives of the workhouse inmates, with sections on diet, education, work, the workhouse farm, religion, the treatment of women and children. There are also chapters on the effect of the Famine on the fishing industry, and on emigration from West Waterford during and after the Famine.The area served by the Dungarvan Poor Law Union included Dungarvan, Abbeyside, Ardmore, Grange, Kinsalebeg, Clashmore, Aglish, Whitechurch, Modeligo, Colligan, Seskinane, Kilgobnet, Kilrossanty, Fews, Stradbally, Ballylaneen, Bonmahon, Ring and Old Parish. At the height of the Famine 4,000 men, women and children from all over West Waterford were housed within the workhouse and auxiliary workhouses of Dungarvan. Thousands more were dependent on soup kitchens and "outdoor relief" to prevent themselves starving.For specialist historians and genealogists it is hoped that the book will be of assistance in prompting further research. For the general reader, and particularly for those whose origins are in the locality, it is hoped that it will provide insights into a tragedy which even yet marks the area after the passage of over a century and a half.
Authors: William Fraher (Author), William Whelan (Author, Editor), Bernadette Sheridan(Author), Seosaimh O Loinsigh (Author).