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!! Ballina Chronicle; March 6, 1850 "Workhouse Items - Co Mayo"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, March 6, 1850 THE BALLINA WORKHOUSE There are a few things in which the public at present take greater
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2005
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      BALLINA CHRONICLE
      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, March 6, 1850

      THE BALLINA WORKHOUSE
      There are a few things in which the public at present take greater interest
      than in the workings of the Poor Laws; at least such is the case in this county,
      where these laws confessedly have been the cause of most important changes, not
      for the better we regret to say. The rate payers being compelled to pay a large
      item out of their yearly income towards the support of this system must
      naturally be anxious to know how things are progressing. But yet it is no less
      true that the generality of the rate payers are extremely ignorant of how
      matters are going on within the walls of the workhouse, except what is made
      known to them through the medium of the press. The poor rate and the poor laws
      are all the cry, but we would venture to assert that there are not a dozen of
      the rate payers, not even excluding the guardians, who are sufficiently
      acquainted with the indoor system of this Union, and in this respect the
      guardians are culpable. In other respects a more efficient board could not be
      found as we have often had occasion to notice. Lately a certain individual has
      made a great noise about the clothing of the inmates of this workhouse and
      auxiliaries, but if he had made himself better acquainted with the financial
      affairs of the Union and the exertions that were making to render the
      unfortunate poor comfortable, he might have saved himself the trouble of his
      discourteous communications to the Poor Law Commissioners. We visited the house
      the other day, and can now give the rate payers a little information of which
      almost all, we believe, are ignorant. We have found that since the first of
      January last the following articles of clothing have been made in the workhouse,
      viz:-
      Women's Petticoats....................524
      Women's Gowns........................299
      Women's Chemises....................827
      Women's Caps..........................551
      Girls' Frocks..............................398
      Girls' Chemises.......................... 803
      Girls' Petticoats...........................265
      Men's Trousers........................... 27
      Men's Shirts................................340
      Boys' Suits..................................107
      Boys' Shirts.................................256
      Besides these many more articles of clothing are in course of being made,
      and a large quantity of material is in course of delivery which has been a long
      time ordered. Two hundred pairs of blankets, two hundred rugs, and one hundred
      and fifty bed-ticks have also been purchased since the first of January. One
      hundred stones of wool are contracted for, and in a day or two four or five
      hundred wheels will be at work spinning this and flax. Two hundred wheels and
      six looms are ready to commence work; so that in a short time it is expected,
      the greater portion of clothing required can be manufactured in the house from
      the raw material. These facts speak for themselves and form an indisputable
      proof of the very effective exertions of the present board of guardians under
      the difficulties against which they had to contend. These facts, also, together
      with the regularity and cleanliness observed in the house, are more to the
      credit of the master and matron than anything we could say in their favour.


      ALARMING FIRE
      On the night of Thursday last, about the hour of 12 o'clock, a fire broke
      out in one of the stores of Mr. Arthur O'Malley, now used as an auxiliary
      workhouse, the inmates of which number about 2,000. It appears that part of two
      beds were burned, and that the accident is attributed to smoking. The flames
      were so rapidly spreading as to cause the greatest terror and confusion
      throughout the whole house - the paupers rushed against each other in every
      direction to save themselves, some stumbling and falling in their efforts to
      escape, whilst the shrieking was so loud as to attract some of the respectable
      inhabitants of the immediate locality to the place of threatened destruction,
      who, with the aid of the constabulary then on duty, succeeded in getting under
      the devouring element. Had not this timely aid been afforded, it is supposed,
      that the consequence would have been similar to that of Limerick. Fortunately,
      however, not an individual was injured owing to the praise worthy exertions of
      those men. -- Westport Correspondent of the Mayo Constitution.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
      http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
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