A National Conference on the Workhouse system in Ireland took place in Portumna last weekend, May 17 and 18 2014.
Many aspects of the Workhouse system were discussed. The number of papers read was wide ranging; from the history of the Workhouse system in Ireland
to the archaeological evidence from workhouse cemeteries. Many salient aspects of the workhouse system were analyzed by experts both from academia and from those practically engaged in running workhouses in different parts of the country where they are put to new uses.
A photo of some of the speakers at the forum; Bill Marwick told the story of his ancestor, Mary Ann Taylor, who left Ireland from Castleblakeney and lived a long and interesting life in Western Australia.
Emer Brannigan was one of the speakers about workhouse buildings and is currently a guide at the Portumna Workhouse Center. Her grandfather had been the Master in a nearby Workhouse.
The Portumna Workhouse
Peter Higginbotham, Dr Laurence Geary, Dr Gerard Moran, Bill Marwick
Maura Flood, Aiden Feerick, Sister De Lourdes
Aiden Feerick, Yvonne Marren, Kevin Gartland
Aiden Feerick, Emer Brannigan
Mary Beglan, Aiden Feerick, Maura Flood