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Kilrush, County Clare: Notes from c 1760 to 1960 by Senan Scanlan

Kilrush Board of Guardians 1839 - 1869

The Kilrush Workhouse was completed in December 1841. It was situated on a six-acre field in the northern side of the town, on the Cooraclare Road, where the Vocational school and the houses of St. Patrick’s Terrace now stand. A section of the boundary wall is still to be seen behind the houses. The field was purchased for £750 and the building cost £6,800. The Workhouse was built to accommodate 800 people and the first of the many poverty stricken people who were to seek shelter there entered its gates on the 9th of July 1842.

Perhaps, if the Famine had not struck, the Workhouse would have been capable of holding the number of destitute in the Kilrush Union – high at the best of times, but the impact of the Famine meant that the Workhouse facilities soon became desperately inadequate. The extreme poverty of the area meant that more and more destitute were seeking admission. The building therefore, had to be extended and provision was made to accommodate a further 500 persons. Additional buildings, known as Auxiliaries were taken over to help meet the crises. These Auxiliaries were at Leadmore (old seaweed factory), Ballyerra, a town factory, Broomhill House, Foley’s Store, Russell’s Store (both on Merchant's Quay), Behan's Hotel and the Fever Hospital.
(James T McGuane, Kilrush From Olden Times, Galway, 1884, page 20).

(The following table shows that the Workhouse system continued for over seventy years after the famine and only ended with Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 abolishing the Workhouse system of Poor Relief and providing alternatives.)



No Remaining in Kilrush Workhouse.




No Remaining in Kilrush Workhouse.















































































































































System abolished in 1923.

1839 28th May (FJ).
Poor Laws – County of Clare.
A most numerous and respectable meeting was held in the Court-House of Kilrush, on Wednesday to hear the statements and explanations of the Assistant Commissioners, Messrs. Hawley and Burke, relative to the introduction of the poor-law into that district. Poole Hickman, Esq, D.L., of Kilmore, (Knock) took the chair.

1839 8th August (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
A meeting of magistrates was held in the Court-House of Kilrush on Saturday last, H.P. Hickman, Esq in the chair, here the following magistrates were appointed ex-officio guardians for the Union: Mr. Vandeleur, Mr. Hickman, Mr. Scott, Mr. Burton, Mr. O'Grady, Mr. Geo Studdert, Mr. James Studdert, Capt. Studdert and Mr. Richard Studdert.

1842 28th March (CJ).
Kilrush Union: - Election of Poor law Guardians.
Kilrush Electoral Division: Francis Cox, Denis Hynes, Richard O’Donnell, Thomas Chambers, Richard Lillis, Pat McMahon, James McMahon, Michael Morrissey, David Comyn, John Cunningham, the first five returned. ----------.
The Board met after their return and chose Crofton M. Vandeleur Esq, Chairman, Capt. Studdert, Vice-Chairman and Mr. D Hynes, Deputy Vice-Chairman. ----.

1842 13th October (CJ).
One of the Board of Guardians of the Kilrush Union, Mr. John Honan on Sunday last called upon the people of the Parish to draw sand for him in return for the trouble he has endured in acceding to their interests for the past three years, and declared if they did not do so they should find someone beside him to fill the troublesome post after next year. ---
There are only 82 persons receiving relief in the Kilrush Workhouse.

1843 14th August (CJ).
Some mischievous blackguards broke the windows of the Kilrush Workhouse on Wednesday night last. --.

1843 13th November (CJ).
Kilrush Workhouse:
-- The Board after some consideration ordered the following changes to be made: - Treacle to be given on every day for breakfast and milk for dinner: 3 noggins to male and female adults, one half-pint to boys and girls under 15 years of age. ---.

1844 27th June (CJ).
Board of Guardians:
At a meeting of the Guardians of the Kilrush Union held at the Boardroom on the 22nd inst., applications from Doctor Richard Donovan and Dr. William Foley for the situation of Medical Officer to the Workhouse were considered and the Board having divided, Dr. Donovan was appointed by a large majority.

1845 26th July (CJ).
The weekly meeting of the Kilrush Poor Law Guardians is to be held on Tuesday in future instead of Saturday as heretofore. The Board lately passed memorials to the houses of Parliament for enactment of a landlord and tenant law. They were forwarded for presentment to the Duke of Wellington and Sir R. Peel. The Duke “not having any relation whatever with Kilrush” refused the petition, but Sir Robert Peel stated he would present the petition sent to him.

1846 Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1844-45 Volume 11 D -M @
The Kilrush Poor-law Union ranks as the 57th, and was declared on July 23rd 1839. It lies all in Co. Clare, and comprehends an area of 115,746 acres, which contained, in 1831, a pop. of 70,676. Its electoral divisions, with their respective pop. in 1831 are, Kilrush, 9,850: Killimer, 3,023: Knock, 3,859: Killofin, 4,070: Kilfiddane, 4,165: Kildysert, 4,501: Kilmichael, 3,794: Kilmurry, 8,433: Kilmacduane, 5,620: Killard, 5,629: Kilkee, 6,594; Moyarta, 7,441:and Kilballyowen, 3,695.

The number of elected and of ex-officio guardians is respectively 29 and 9:and of the former, 5 are chosen by Kilrush division, 4 by Kilmurry, 3 each by Kilkee and Moyarta, 2 each by Killofin, Kilfiddane, Kildysert, Kilmacduane, and Killard and 1 each of the other divisions.

The total nett annual value of the property rated is £58,269-11s-7d:the total number of persons rated is 8,103:and of these, 819 are rated for a valuation not exceeding £1, 970 not exceeding £2, 963,not exceeding £3, 867 not exceeding £4, 932 not exceeding £5.
The workhouse was contracted for on June 8th, 1840, -to be completed in Sept. 1841, -to cost £6,800 for building and completion, and £1,350 for fittings and contingencies, -to occupy an area of 6 acres, purchased for £750, - and to afford accommodation for 800 paupers.

The date of the first admission of paupers was July 9th 1842: the total expenditure thence till Feb 6th 1843 was £773-0s-11½d: and the total previous expenditure was £1,751-5s-3d. The medical charities are a fever hospital and six dispensaries.
The fever hospital is a new building, situated at Kilrush, erected by the exertions of Mr. Vandeleur and other gentlemen, and containing 50 beds, with a surgical department: and, in 1839-40 – immediately previous to its being opened – it was provided with an annual income of £400 from subscription, and £933 from parliamentary and county grants. The dispensaries have seats at Kilrush, Knock, Kildysart, Doonbeg, Cooraclare and Kilmihil, and Carrigaholt and Kilkee------.

1846 5th January (CJ).
Kilrush Fever Hospital.
In Hospital at 31st December 1845: 27
Admitted in said month: 55 – 82
Discharged cured in said month: 47
Died: 3
Remaining in Hospital 1st Jan 1846: 32 – 82.

1846 26th November (CJ).
Kilrush Union – Board of Guardians. ----- Resolved: That the degree of destitution prevailing throughout this county especially amongst the poorer classes, calls for the best exertions of every well minded person towards its alleviation. -------------.

1847 11th March (CJ).
Kilrush Fever Hospital: year to 6th March 1847.
Remaining in Hospital on 6th March 1846: 39
Admitted 6th March 1846 to 6th March 1847: 785 – 824.
Discharged cured in that period: 744
Died: 32

In Hospital at 6th March 1847: 48 – 824
The Number 824 consisted of 391 males and 433 females, 202 resided in the town, 573 in the country and 49 had no place of residence. The average number of days stayed by each person was 23, the amount expended per day per person was 5d and the total amount for each person was 9s-11¾ d.

1847 3rd April (Nation).
Last week an old man, aged 85 years, named Pat O’Brien, living in the neighbourhood of Moyadda, was admitted into the Kilrush Workhouse, and his wife, aged 75, who declined to accompany him, remained in her cabin by the side of the Ennis Road. On Saturday last at twelve o'clock, the old man died at the workhouse, and, singular to relate, his wife died at home precisely at the same hour. The woman, it is confidently believed, died of starvation.

1847 8th April (CJ).
In the Kilrush Workhouse, there are 1,050 paupers of which 240 are on the sick list. ---
1847 29th November (CJ). Kilrush Union: --- Such was the mass of misery presented by the crowds, in waiting, of the able-bodied of both sexes with the aged and infirm seeking admittance that the Guardians did not enter the board room until half-past ten o'clock.---
---- Paupers admitted into the Workhouse this day 188 making a total at present in the house 869.
---- Fever patients in hospital 41, of sundry other diseases in ditto 125. Total 166.

1847 4th December (Nation).
The workhouse at Kilrush is full, and the poor in the vicinity of Kilrush and Kilkee are starving.

1848 10th January (CJ).
Kilrush Union.
Wanted for the Workhouse of this Union a Master. He must be an active person of strict moral character and competent to discharge the duties of the office which will consist of enforcing the employment of paupers, keeping the records, taking charge of all provisions and stores and superintending generally the management of the establishment and its inmates. He will be required to reside constantly in the workhouse. Salary as at present fixed £40 per annum, with apartments, rations, fuel &c. Two sureties in a joint bond for £200 will be required. --------.

1848 20th April (CJ).
Destitution at Kilrush: Kilrush April 15th.
Notwithstanding that the public prints in this ill-fated country are incessantly replete with tales of the most heart rending woe and wretchedness the masses of human misery presented for the last three weeks at the Kilrush Union Workhouse have out-rivalled all the calamitous scenes witnessed (even in these times) in any part of Ireland. So great was the pressure that though Captain Kennedy and the Vice-Guardians had to remain night after night up to the hour of ten o'clock, admitting paupers. Hundreds of these creatures had to take shelter in the Market-House, without fire or covers to shield them from the inclemency of the weather. The result will tell for itself. Sixty-two of those unfortunates were last week numbered on the Workhouse dead list.

Nor can this state of things be wondered at when after the countless wholesale evictions which have taken place within the Union during the last 12 days which have turned the very name of equity into a mockery, landlords, who would be gentlemen, have recourse to lying trickery of holding out promises to their “destitute” cabin-holders of getting them out-door relief of from 3 to 4 or 5 stone of meal per week, as the case may be, by giving up their miserable hovels. But the strictures read by Captain Kennedy at the last Board day to one of these gentlemen will it is hoped henceforth put a stop to such practices.

1848 18th May (CJ). The British Association.
We cannot avoid directing the attention of our readers to the bountiful relief afforded to various districts of this country by the British Charitable Association. It will be seen by the statement of our correspondent that Captain Kennedy, Poor Law Inspector for the Kilrush Union, has received during the last few days, one thousand and thirty pounds in aid for that Union. ---.

1848 9th November (CJ).
Kilrush Union.
Number admitted into infirmary and fever hospital during the week 60: Discharged cured 82: died 5: remaining under medical treatment on Saturday October 28th 316.

1848 21st December (CJ).
Kilrush Workhouse:
Extract from medical report for the week ending Saturday 16th 1848:
Number under medical treatment in infirmary and fever hospital by last report 382
Admitted to both places this week 83 Total 465.
Discharged cured 83, died 6. Total under medical treatment on Sat Dec 16th 378.

Lieutenant Henry, R.N. has selected thirty young orphan girls in the Kilrush Workhouse for emigration to Australia. The vice-guardians are to provide them with clothing. The other expenses will be defrayed by Government.

1848 December (Accounts and Papers, Relief of Distress (Ireland), Distressed Unions etc. Volume XLV111 @

Kilrush Union-Captain Kennedy: - December 13th, 1848.
Doctor's Phelan's observations are quite applicable to the Kilrush Union. A great portion of the people are all but naked. The great mass of the population of the Union have been without the means of purchasing clothes for the last three years. They had no potatoes, no pigs, and consequently no money. Money wages are not generally given in this Union, and where given, are in amount altogether insufficient for the supply of clothing in addition to food.

I have paid particular attention to the appearance and clothing of the peasantry on Sundays, as affording a very fair criterion to judge of their real state. I have conversed with many Roman Catholic clergymen on this subject: and they assure me that considerable numbers absent themselves from chapel from want of clothing, especially women and children.
I can with truth repeat, that the stock of mere rags among one hundred paupers is not sufficient for the clothing of twenty.
It is a truth, as suggested by Doctor Phelan, that many seek the workhouse partly from want of clothing.
The number of paupers in this Union, who are absolutely without houses, clothes, food, or fuel, is most distressing and embarrassing.

Kilrush Union-Further communication from Captain Kennedy:-December 17th, 1848
I obtained permission to have access to the books of the principal pawn-office in the Union. The enclosed table shows the number of pledges, respectively, for every month during the four years from 1845 to 1848, inclusive. This table, considered in all its bearings, affords a melancholy proof of poverty.
It will be observed that the number of pledges are less in the winter than the summer months: this may be accounted for by stating, the residue of the small farmers' means are insufficient to carry them over the year. It will also be observed that the number of pledges received during the present year falls far short of the number received during any of the preceding years: and this may be accounted for by what I believe to be the fact, that the class who were the principal customers have now nothing to pawn, and are all but naked.
I ascertained from the same source that the average number of articles redeemed during the period embraced in this table was one in twenty.
I speak from my own observation when I state my belief, that out of 16,000 paupers in receipt of out-door relief, sixty per cent are without bedding or bed covering of any kind. Straw, too frequently both damp and dirty, constitutes their only bed.

(Folklore suggests that the fishing was poor during the Famine, however a primary reason that the fishing was poor at this time was that most of the nets were pledged to pawn-offices, or sold, by the fishermen to feed their families)

Number of Pledges to Pawn-offices in Kilrush Union.







































































1849 12th February (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The Vice-Guardians of the Union will receive tenders from duly qualified persons for the situation of Clerk of Union, on Saturday the 24th inst. in room of John M Donnell, resigned.
A person already acquainted with the keeping of Union Accounts will be preferred.
Salary £90 per year.

1849 5th April (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The Vice-Guardians of the above Union will on Saturday the 14th April instant, receive tenders for supplying the Union with the following viz.
Best Rye Meal. Per ton.
Best Indian meal Per ton
Best Barley meal Per ton
Best Oatmeal Per ton
Best Rice Per ton
also Best Quality Flour Per ton
and Best Indian Corn Per ton
By Order of E J Kennedy, Clerk of the Union, Board Room, 2nd April 1849.

1849 5th July (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The Vice-Guardians of the above Union will on Saturday the 21st instant receive tenders for supplying and erecting a force pump in the Auxiliary Workhouse at Leadmore: and also for sinking a water tank at the same premises.--.

1849 2nd August (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The Vice-Guardians of the above Union will on Saturday the 12th prox. receive tenders for the situation of Workhouse Assistant Matron: salary £15 a year with apartments and rations.

1849 20th September (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The Vice-Guardians will on Saturday 29th September instant receive tenders for supplying the Union until the 25th March 1850 with? Articles.


Per yard.


Per pair


Per yard.

Tailor's scissors

Per pair

Irish poplin

Per yard.

Small scissors

Per pair


Per llb or per doz.

Metal hinges

Per pair


@ each.

Sewing needles

Per 100

Men's and Boy's caps (marked in front with the words Kilrush Union.)

Per doz.

Knitting needles

Per 100

Best Brooms

Per doz.


Per sheet

Sweeping Brushes

Per doz.


Per piece

Whitewash Brushes

Per doz.

Ink (Black and blue)

Per jar

Black Lead Brushes

Per doz.

Steel Pens(best)

Per box

Bath Bricks


Writing Paper

Per ream

Iron Screws


Ruled paper

Per ream



Iron spoons

Per gross

Patent Pen Holders


Rape oil

Per gallon

Combs (ivory and horn)



Per llb

Metal pots



Per stone

Metal kettles & c.


Locks (for boxes &c)


Iron wire


Oaten straw

Per ton

Perforated zinc.



Per ton

Black lead.


Rye and Barley meal

Per ton

Twine and rope


First Flour

Per ton



Per ton

The Vice-Guardians - tenders for supplying the Kilrush Fever Hospital:

Best Beef and Mutton

Per llb


Per doz.

Best White Bread

Per llb

New Milk

Per quart

Best Black and Green Tea

Per llb


Per cwt.

Best Sugar, lump and soft

Per llb


Per cwt.

Best Pepper

Per llb

French Barley

Per stone

Starch and Blue



Per stone

Candles and Lard


Arrow Root

Per stone




Per stone


Per Gallon

Coffins(of all sizes at an average price)



Per Creel


Per yard.

1849 22nd November (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
--- An assistant matron for the Leadmore Auxiliary Workhouse at a salary of £15 a year with apartments and rations.
--- An assistant schoolmaster at a salary of £15 a year with apartments and rations.
--- An assistant schoolmistress at a salary of £10 a year with apartments and rations.

1849 Tuesday 18th December (LR).
Kilrush Union.
A most heart-rending scene occurred within two miles of the town about 4 o'clock on Tuesday:
The ferry-boat at Commoge on Moyasta Bay in crossing, was upset with 41 persons on board, five of whom were taken up alive by another boat and are likely to recover: Thirty one bodies were found on the strand that morning and five were missing. Those persons were returning from Kilrush market with provisions for their families? -------------.

Great Excitement in Kilrush.
Michael Brew alias “Bomber” and Geo Taylor his son-in-law, Dr Donovan and Colonel Vandeleur were severally pelted with mud and missiles and hooted, at every place they made their appearance on Friday, on account of the outdoor relief being stopped to 14,000 recipients. The town is in danger and guarded by policemen who move constantly through the streets. The excitement is immense.

1849 22nd December (Nation).
Poor Law Intelligence.
At the meeting of the Kilrush board of guardians, on Saturday, Colonel Vandeleur, the Chairman, said he found, on reference to the accounts for the last 18 months, that during that period rates had been collected amounting to nearly £22,000, which, will with a free grant of £23,000 and a debt incurred by them of £15,000, now owing, make a total expenditure in the Union during the last year and a half of nearly £60,000! Upon the dismissal of the elected board in March 1848, they were in debt but £1,500 whilst on their return to office last month they find themselves encumbered with a debt of £15,000.

1850 Thom's Directory @
Poor Law Unions:
The Kilrush Union is situated in the county of Clare: it contains an area of 178,935 statute acres, and a population of 82,353. The valuation of property rated in the Union amounts to £59,449. There are 13 Electoral Divisions, represented by 29 elected, and 13 ex-officio Guardians: the Workhouse was opened in July 1842, and affords accommodation for 1,330 inmates. The Board of Guardians meets on Saturdays.
Chairman: Colonel Vandeleur, Kilrush.
Vice-Chairman: Benjamin Cox, Esq, (Mount Pleasant),Clarefield, Kilrush.
Dep. Vice-Chair: R. Hungerford Donovan, Esq, Kilrush.
Treasurer: National Bank of Ireland, Kilrush.
Clerk and Returning Officer: Edward James Kennelly.
Master and Matron: Pat. McInerney and Alicia Shannon.
Chaplains: Established Church, Rev. R.F. Robbins. Roman Catholic. Rev. Timothy Kelly.
Medical Officer: Thomas B. O'Donnell.

1850 3rd January (CJ).
Tour through the Union of Kilrush:
So much has been already said and written about the appalling wretchedness and destitution to be witnessed in this Union, that it may perhaps seem unnecessary trespassing on the patience of the public now to commence a series of articles on a subject so hackneyed.----
It must be confessed that it is no easy task at present to ascertain the strict truth in any matter bearing upon the condition of this county. The statements that emanate from the people themselves are in general so grossly exaggerated if not totally void of truth that they convey no accurate idea of the real state of affairs: and unfortunately during the past few years falsehood and deception have, for obvious reasons, become more prevalent that ever among our peasantry.----
Wherever I have discovered negligence or any unacceptable exaction on the part of landed proprietors I shall not fail to advert to it, but I have no doubt of being able to satisfy the public that in several cases at least this class has been unwarrantably maligned. With respect to the number of evictions, especially I am of opinion from close observation and inquiry that it has been highly exaggerated.--.
(It appears that this correspondent had decided the outcome before the tour started)

1850 25th July Draft Report on Kilrush Union by G. Poulett Scrope, M.P. @
Prefatory Remarks:
The first Irish Poor-law, enacted in 1843, limited its provisions to indoor relief, and that was left in a manner optional to the Local Boards. In 1847, the law was extended to afford out-door relief, and made compulsory: the Guardians being “required” and commanded to “provide due relief” to all classes of the destitute, either in or out of the Workhouse, subject to the supervision and orders of the Central Commission.
The provision of “due relief” was rendered compulsory in two mode: - in the first place Guardians,who,after undertaking the duties imposed by the Statute, neglected to fulfil them, would be necessarily amenable to justice, like any other misdemeanants for wilful disobedience of the positive injunctions of law. In addition to this, the commissioners were armed with a power summarily to dissolve any Board of Guardians that neglected its duty, and appoint Vice-Guardians in their place, with full power to levy rates, and otherwise carry out the requirements of the law.

----- The “distressed” Unions of the West and South, in which the system of grants in aid and rates in aid, had established a divided and ill-defined responsibility, between the Local Guardians, the Poor Law Commissioners, and the Treasury, naturally afforded the worst instances of inadequate relief. Among these, the Union of Kilrush in the county of Clare, stood prominent, not, as I believe, from the treatment of its poor differing essentially from that in several other Unions I might name, but from the striking character of the Reports of its temporary Inspector, Captain Kennedy, who was not restrained by the fear of offending local magnates, or of causing trouble to the central authorities, from exposing the real condition of that Union, the frightful sufferings of its poor, and the sweeping destruction of life, which has been for some years taking place there, in spite of the provisions of the Law.

--- Out-door relief in any shape and to any class, has been systematically discontinued by the Poor-law Commission, and all but prohibited everywhere. The only kind of relief then professedly administered, is by admission to the Workhouse ,and, what is the character of that relief? ,and to what extent is it afforded?
In the first place it appears from the evidence taken by the Kilrush and Carrick-on-Shannon Committee, that it is often refused or postponed till death has set its seal on the victim of starvation, and all relief comes too late.
In the next place, it is often afforded in such a shape as to be almost worse in its effect upon the recipient, than would have been a blank refusal. The horrors of the probationary wards, in which the poor after admission are occasionally left, to lie for weeks together in crowded heaps, festering in their own filthy rags,untended,uncared for, are enough of themselves to cause all who have a spark of decency or self-regard left, to prefer death outside to such an ordeal. But should they (the paupers) submit to it, and be finally accepted as inmates of the house: what, in too many instances, is known to be the treatment they experience? I leave the answer to Mr. Osborne, who with such praiseworthy energy and benevolence has personally examined many of these relief-houses. His description accords with the result of my own examination, and the best evidence and information I have been able to obtain on the subject.

Hundreds of men, women and children, kept in close confinement in crowded yards, or still more densely crowded day-rooms, in rags and filth by day, by night often naked: the straw of the beds not changed for months: packed together three or four in a bed, even when suffering from dysentery: sore feet, sore hands, sore heads, ophthalmia, contagious diseases, and vermin prevalent throughout: soap, and even water, often unattainable irregular, that some have to wait till midnight for what ought to have been their mid-day meal. The dietary tables ordered by the Commissioners as much disregarded as are the numbers which the houses are limited by them to contain: women of the worst character, and afflicted with the most loathsome diseases, herded with the hitherto uncontaminated daughters of the poor peasants: no discipline, or that of the stick only in the rudest of hands -scarcely any superintendence, owing to a false economy in the official staff. These are the characteristic features of some of the workhouses visited by Mr. Osborne, within a few months past and recorded in his recent publication.---

Conclusions of the Draft Report;
------ To conclude. The process that has been going on for the last three years in this unhappy Union may be thus described: - The infirm poor have been wasting away and gradually disappearing under the effects of insufficient food, clothing, fuel, and lodging, although in the receipt of what is called “out-door relief”. The able-bodied poor, unable to obtain employment have been by degrees broken down, and merged in this first class, to share their fate. The small tenantry have, through the continued failure of crops, and the impossibility of paying a full potato rent under these circumstances, been evicted, and brought down into one or other of the preceding classes, and are undergoing the same calamities. The superior class of tenantry alone, constituting but a small minority of the original population, are still struggling under the difficulties of their position, exposed to heavy public burthens, and to the payment of rents until very recently undiminished from their old standard, without tenure or any other encouragement to improve tillage or exertion: while the landlords, of whom there are very few resident in the Union,are,with here and there an exception, either overwhelmed with their own embarrassments, or inert, as if stupefied by the change of circumstances, and seem to place their sole reliance on the clearance of the poor from off their properties by any means, however harsh, and ultimately injurious, even to themselves.----

1850 17th October (CJ).
Kilrush Union- Benjamin Cox, Esq, in the chair: Mr Lynch's Report:
At the previous meeting of the Board Mr. Lynch, Poor Law Inspector was present and considerable discussion took place relative to the report which had been made by him on the state of the Union and which appeared in evidence provided before the Committee of Inquiry appointed by the House of Commons. In the report, Mr. Lynch stated that he did not think the lives of paupers could be safely entrusted to the present Board of Guardians. ----.

1850 11th November (CJ).
Court of Queen’s Bench- Friday-Criminal Information- Kilrush Union.
The Queen at the prosecution of Crofton Moore Vandeleur Esq a Arthur Edward Kennedy.
Mr. J.D. Fitzgerald Q.C. -- moved on the affidavit of Crofton Vandeleur of Kilrush Union in the County of Clare, a Deputy Lieutenant of that county ---- he has been one of the ex-officio guardians of the poor for the Union of Kilrush. ----- It was stated that Arthur Edward Kennedy now resident in the city of Kilkenny, late Captain in her majesty's 68th Regiment of Foot-----.
(--- Kennedy ---- went on to challenge Vandeleur to a duel. --- Vandeleur brought an action against Kennedy for his insulting letter and challenge. The case was tried at Cork Assizes in July /August 1851 with Kennedy's defence being conducted by two noted advocates, Isaac Butt and Sir Colman O'Loghlen. Vandeleur's action failed when the jury disagreed- seven reportedly being for acquittal and five for conviction.)

1851 11th January (Nation).
Annals of the Year 1850.
March: The condition of the Poor Law Union of Kilmallock represented to be nearly as deplorable as that of Kilrush. ---
In the House of Commons, Mr. Poulett Scrope moves the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the condition of the Kilrush Union. The motion is opposed by Government, and rejected by 76 to 63.
There having been only two deaths by starvation, in Kilrush, for the last week, out-door relief has been stopped from about nine thousand helpless, aged, and infirm.

April: There are now 3,000 inmates of the Kilrush Union Workhouse. Of these, nearly one-third are under medical treatment. Over one-fourth are turned into the dead house every week. --.

1851 3rd February (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
Number in the Workhouse 4,977 being 323 over the number allowed by the sealed order. The number of deaths during the week was 41.

1851 11th March Weekly Dispatch @ British Library Online Newspapers.
Better Late than Never: A poor man, named McMahon, lately discharged from Kilrush Workhouse, died on Wednesday night last near Carrigaholt, in the county of Clare, and was buried on Thursday morning without a coffin. The people at whose house he died stated that he came tottering to their door on Wednesday evening for relief: after going a few paces distance he fell: they brought him in laid him on a wisp of straw near the fire-he died. They buried him early in the morning-could not stand the fearful bad odour from him-could not get a coffin. The Coroner came on Friday-disinterred McMahon. The verdict- “Died of starvation”. On Saturday, the relieving officer came and again disinterred him for the humane purpose of putting a coffin on, by order of the guardians. The proverb, “killing with kindness” is outshone by them, for they are kind even after the man is killed. Those who would root up the graves sooner than let a poor man go without his jacket must have been maligned -they must have clothed their live paupers well – The Limerick and Clare Examiner.

1851 14th March (Management of the Kilrush Union @
------ Extract from the above report:
Kilrush Union Workhouse: House Dietary, adopted per Minute:
No 1 – Able-bodied working Males.
Breakfast: - 7 oz. Indian meal: half-pint cocoa.
Dinner:-14 oz. rye and barley bread: 1½ pint soup: 1½ oz. Oatmeal made into soup. No 2 -Able-bodied working females
Breakfast: - 6 oz. Indian meal: half-pint cocoa.
Dinner:-14 oz. Rye and barley bread: 1½ pint soup: 1½ oz. Oatmeal made into soup.
No 3 – Persons not at Work and Infirm.
Breakfast: 6 oz. Indian meal: half-pint new milk.
Dinner:-12 oz. Rye and barley bread: 1½ pint soup: 1½ oz. Oatmeal made into soup.
No 4 – Children under fifteen and above Nine Years of Age.
Breakfast: - 5 oz. Of meal, equal parts Indian and oatmeal: half pint of artificial milk Dinner: - 10 oz. rye and barley bread: 1 pint soup.
Supper: - 4 oz. Rye and barley bread: half-pint of soup.
No 5 & 6. _Children under nine and above Two Years.
Breakfast: - 4 oz. Meal, equal parts Indian and oatmeal: half-pint of new milk.
Dinner: 4 oz. white bread: half-pint new milk.
Supper: - 4 oz. white bread: half-pint soup.
No 7 – Infants under Two Years. Not less than 1 pint of milk and 8 oz. bread daily.

Infirmary and Fever Hospital Dietary, adopted per Minute.
Low Diet, No 1.
Milk for whey, 3 pints: bread, 4 ounces, daily Low Diet, No 2.
Breakfast: - Milk, 1 pint: bread, 4 ounces.
Dinner: - Milk, 1 pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Supper: - Milk, 1 pint: bread, 4 ounces.
Middle Diet No. 3.
Breakfast: Milk, half-pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Dinner: - Milk, 1 pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Supper: - Milk, half-pint: bread, 4 ounces.
Middle Diet No. 4.
Breakfast: Milk, half-pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Dinner: - Rice milk, 1 pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Supper: - Milk, half-pint: bread, 4 ounces.
Full Diet No 5.
Breakfast:-Milk, half-pint: bread, 8 ounces.
Dinner: - Milk.1 pint: bread, 8 ounces.
Supper: - Milk, half-pint: bread, 4 ounces.
Full Diet, with Meat No. 6.
Breakfast: - Milk, 1 pint: bread, 6 ounces.
Dinner: - Meat, 8 ounces: bread, 6 ounces
Supper: - Milk, half-pint: bread, 4 ounces.

The scale here laid down includes the allowances to the sick above nine years of age. For all classes under nine and above two years the allowance to be three -fourths of the above. For Infants under 2 years. Milk, 1 pint: bread, 8 ounces: rice milk, 1 pint, daily.

1851 5th April Daily News @ British Library Online Newspapers.
Imperial Parliament. Kilrush Union.
Mr. Scully then rose to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland the following questions respecting the condition of the Kilrush Union: Whether the workhouse in that Union had accommodation for 4,654 inmates, or thereabouts, from the 8th March last? Whether there were not upwards of 5,000 within the house at that date? Whether the deaths within the house for the 21 days ending the 22nd of March did not exceed 200? Whether paupers, to the number of between 100 to 200 were not in the habit of seeking for relief within the house upon the admission days? Whether many of such were not in a most destitute and nearly starving state, and after having walked, some 12 Irish miles were refused admittance? Whether any steps were taken to afford them, so refused any assistance whatever? Whether the poor law commissioners are aware of this state of things, and if so, what measures have they taken, or intend to take in order to correct them.
Sir W. Somerville said he would give as much information as he could in reply to the several questions which the hon. gentleman had placed on the paper, and within the limits that he thought he ought to occupy under present circumstances.(Hear, hear). In answer to the first question of the hon. gentleman as to whether the workhouse for Kilrush Union had accommodation for 4,564 inmates in March last, the information which the hon. gentleman had received on that point was correct. As to the subsequent questions, he had no precise information which he could give to the hon. gentleman. The commissioners had not been able to get any precise information respecting them. As to the question, which was the important question, as to whether the Poor Law Commissioners were aware of this state of things, he had to state that of course they were perfectly aware that this state of things existed in Kilrush. The commissioners had constantly remonstrated with the board of guardians on this state of things, and they urged them in the first place to provide additional workhouse accommodation: and, failing that to resort to a system of out-door relief. As early as the beginning of December in last year the commissioners applied to the board of guardians for the purpose of getting additional workhouse room, and the guardians, he thought about the 20th of March said additional accommodation would be necessary.
At a subsequent period to that, the commissioners procured assistance from the rate in aid fund for providing additional infirmary accommodation ,which was much required in that Union. The board of guardians did everything he believed in their power to procure additional workhouse accommodation, which they found very difficult: and they had yielded to the solicitations of the commissioners to adopt a system of out-door relief, which commenced in January, and on the 22nd of March the number receiving relief was 2,626, and he was happy to tell his hon. friend that on the same day, the 22nd March the number in the workhouse had been reduced by 214. He was sorry to observe the sanitary condition of the workhouse. The commissioners had done everything in their power to call the attention of the guardians to this state of things. The inspector of that Union, one of the most active men in that employ, said in his report, “referring to the week ending the 30th of March in the past year the deaths amounted to 56 of the 5,537 inmates, being about the same rate of mortality as at the present time” He went on to say “many paupers do not seek admission into the workhouse till they are exhausted by disease and he said further that the only hospital institution in the Union was in the workhouse. With regard to diet, with the exception of milk, he could not find that there had been any diminution whatever.
Mr Reynolds, who rose amid some noisy expressions of impatience, said, when the Hon. Baronet the member for Marylebone, addressed the house upon a comparatively insignificant subject, he was heard in perfect silence. It was not his intention to detain the house at any considerable length, but he claimed his right to speak on a question which involved the life or death of his fellow-countrymen and countrywomen. What was the question? It was this whether in Kilrush Union persons were to be permitted to die for want of the common necessaries of life. While he was on this subject permit him to use the figure published in the Times newspaper, by that benevolent and Christian clergyman of the established church, the Rev. Mr. Osborne, to whom it was that they owed the dragging to light of these proceedings in the Kilrush Union. The workhouse would accommodate 4,654 inmates, but the fact was that there was now 214 persons in that workhouse more than it would hold.(Laughter) He was happy to see that on a subject like this gentlemen could be merry (“No, No”) when he said merry, he did not mean to insinuate that they could be light on the subject. Sir Boyle Roche had once proposed to the Irish House of Commons that every quart bottle should hold a quart, but what had been the fact with respect to this workhouse? Why that 214 persons had been thrust into it more than it had been intended to accommodate. What did they think was the cost of maintaining or rather starving a pauper in that house? It was just 11½d per week. No wonder then that 280 of the poor wretches died per week (Hear). He charged the workhouse authorities with being accessories to murder. For every one that died, somebody was accountable before God, and he wished it was so with men. (Cheers). The landlords were ex officio guardians and they wished to keep down the expense. They had refused out-door relief for a series of months, and when the poor people were at last compelled to seek shelter in the house, their muscular and other powers had been so weakened by want that they were unable to digest the wretched food which was furnished to them. Mr Vandeleur, of Kilrush, governed the guardians: and a benevolent gentleman named Captain Kennedy, having had the misfortune to oppose Mr. Vandeleur, had been obliged to leave, and now Mr. Vandeleur was permitted to trifle as he pleased with the lives of the people. It was really quite melancholy that such a thing as this Kilrush Union should be allowed to exist in any country calling itself civilised or Christian (Hear).
Sir L. O'Brien (who was received with much impatience) admitted that the strong imputations which had been cast upon the guardians had not hitherto been contradicted. He explained that eleven shillings in the pound had been paid for the poor rates in Kilrush, and Colonel Vandeleur was surrounded with the greatest possible difficulties. The Union had received very largely of government aid: but that having been withdrawn, and the Union thrown upon its own resources, this distress had been the result. (Hear, hear) He hoped the subject would be further discussed when the Medical Charities Bill (Ireland) should be brought before the house on Tuesday next.

1851 17th April (Daily News) @British Library Online Newspapers.
Kilrush Union (To the editor of the Times).

Sir, Although we believe that the statements of the Rev. Mr. Osborne are now so duly appreciated by the public as to make it scarcely necessary for us to notice his calumnies, we cannot avoid averting to his two last letters that appeared in your paper, from the unchristian motives (contained in them) attributed to our chairman, who has devoted his entire time to the interests of the Union, regardless of infection, and danger, and careless of fatigue, and also from the unwarrantable misrepresentation made by Mr. Osborne, respecting the conduct of this board. When Mr. Osborne commenced his series of attacks on this Union, he stated that the old abuses continued unmitigated, and adduced as a proof the sad mortality which prevailed for some weeks, and, to add strength to his accusation, he praised the vice guardians, recently appointed to Ennistymon, but suppressed the fact that the mortality there was even greater than at Kilrush, and continues still to be so with one thousand less in their houses, a visitation of Providence which neither vice or elected guardians have, unhappily, the power to prevent, nor has this board adopted the system of concealing their mortality by placing persons on out-door relief, which has been practised before this, to prevent their deaths appearing in the records, and credit afterwards taken for the low mortality in the house
The statements made by Mr. Osborne, that there were 1,300 sick in their beds, too closely crowded, is a gross and wilful misrepresentation, not founded in fact, as the official reports made to the guardians and poor-law commissioners gave 893 as being under medical treatment, including 165 in skin disease wards, on the ordinary diet of the house and convalescent, leaving about 350 confined to their beds, exactly the same numbers being in the hospitals under the same medical officer who praised in the Rev. Mr. Osborne's book for his zeal and attention to the workhouses, conducted in the same manner as when Mr. Osborne on the 17th of June last made the following observations respecting this Union in your paper, and left most complimentary reports on our visiting book: “I cannot,however,speak too highly of the efforts made throughout the whole establishment to uphold order and cleanliness against a pressure which would seem to forbid any approach to it. The sick and they were indeed many seemed to have every possible attention. I have as yet seen no house in which more attention was bestowed on those small details of management on which, in real fact, all order mainly depends. Of the condition of the peasantry out of the workhouse in this ill-fated Union I will speak on another occasion: I will only now add, that I am indeed very much mistaken if all that can be said of it cannot be also said of a very large proportion of the country I have traversed” We are ready to admit that on the 1st and 22nd of February the medical officer reported to the board that the infirmary was overcrowded and there was a great deficiency of milk: but Mr. Osborne when he extracted one passage from our minutes, should in candour, have gone a little further, and he would have seen that the board, not being able to procure milk, had previously substituted cocoa and coffee, and on medical officer's report being made had advertised and re-advertised, and directed the master to procure whatever milk could be obtained in the market for the use of the sick, at the same time placing additional accommodation at the disposal of the medical officer, and called on him to make any alterations he might think necessary as to dietary.
We cannot help observing that although Mr. Osborne states he has no feeling with regard to any one of these Unions more than another, yet with regard to others has the same means been resorted to by the employment of a paid agent, long known to have been employed in writing down this board. “per fas et nefas” who is too notorious a character here to require any comment on our part: and this is the person selected by the Rev. Mr. Osborne as his confidential correspondent, to slander the board, and put in comparison with Colonel Vandeleur, our long known and valued chairman, and by the acrimonious manner in which Mr. Osborne has published his “Gleanings” from this Union details and tables of mortality by which he would have it supposed that it exceeded that of any other Union, when the fact was proved before the committee of the House of Commons that Kilrush was lower than seven other Unions in the provinces: and the recent returns made to parliament must have shown Mr. Osborne that the charge of overcrowding the houses might equally be brought against twelve other Unions, many of them to a far greater degree than Kilrush, had he been inclined to do equal justice.
With reference to Mr. Osborne's charge “that the business of the admission days is conducted in a manner which forbids common justice to the applicants” we have to state that no board we believe in the province gives up more time to the duties of their office, two days generally being devoted in the week: and sitting to a late hour to receive applications besides the board day, but could not meet on some occasions the “extraordinary” pressure for relief, as was the case the first three weeks in February,when,on out-door relief being re-commenced, some thousands applied, without submitting to every species of imposition, as truly described in Mr. Osborne's letter of June 17. “To an English eye no questions need have been put at all: but as neither all is gold that glitters, so neither are nudity, disease and solemn asseveration of destitution in Ireland a proof of it”. We may also observe that hundreds apply for relief who refuse the house, and return, stating they were refused: and that it is not our custom to refuse destitute persons when it is possible to receive them, and the sick are at once taken in, frequently compelling the guardians to overcrowd the wards, and we cannot see where the gross mismanagement and shameful neglect exists. In this Union, as in every instance, it has been the study of the board to afford the prescribed diet, carry out the law, and meet the views of the commissioners as far as lay in their power.
We need scarcely allude to the great difficulties which must to any board exist in providing for the necessities and management of 5,000 of the most wretched of our population in a distressed Union such as this, and the consequent unfairness to a desire to embarrass the board or to further some ulterior object, who are now giving the greatest amount of relief in Ireland.

We do not see what the comparative improvement of this Union has to say to the helpless inmates of the workhouse: nor can we see why this Union should not improve with the rest of Ireland, in the reduction of pauperism, although it may not suit Mr. Osborne's views: and now give the numbers from the Parliamentary Reports, of persons receiving relief: March 1849, 592,635: March, 1850, 128,762: February, 1851, 6,450.
We do not wish to be again forced into comparison with Ennistymon, but Mr. Osborne must recollect that he first introduced the subject, and must not impute to us hard-heartedness for the unfortunate poor, when we observe, with pain, that now, with all the care the vice-guardians could bestow on them, there are now 253 deaths between the 8th and 22nd of March, at Ennistymon, with 3,895 inmates, which is 52 more than Kilrush, with 5,005 inmates.

We have no hesitation in saying that the present inspectors of this Union have carried out the law with justice and humanity, and, with the board, challenge every inquiry, but must inveigh against a system of espionage and annoyance kept up in this Union, and not admitted or practised in any other Union in Ireland which we are aware of.
We trust that, as a matter of justice, you will give insertion to this letter, which has been unanimously agreed to at a special meeting of our board, in reply to the statements, which have already appeared in your journal from the Rev. S. G. Osborne. Signed on behalf of, and by order of the board: Benjamin Cox, Vice-Chairman, Board Room, April 3, 1851.

1851 19th April (The Nation)
An Irish Poor Law Budget.
A special meeting of the Kilrush Board of Guardians was recently held, for the purpose of contradicting Rev. Mr. S. G. Osborne's statements to the Times, of the neglect of duty by the Guardians, in administration relief to the crowds of starving people in that Union. A letter to the Times was agreed to, in which the reverend gentleman's statements are denied as calumnious, &c., though none of the facts which he adduced are sought to be controverted, except by a statement, that there were not so many in hospital as he alleges at a particular period. He is accused of having received his information from unreliable sources. It is stated that the mortality in Kilrush was less than in seven other Unions, and that of Ennistymon is adduced in particular, in which it is alleged the number of deaths in the workhouse was greater, though there were not so many inmates. It is also set forth that the Kilrush Board did not conceal the extent of the mortality, as practised in some other Unions. This is in substance the defence of the Board. They say they are not as bad as others. But they have altogether avoided joining issue upon such facts as these adduced by Rev. Mr. Osborne in his letters:- “That 203 deaths occurred in the space of twenty one days-that seventy nine took place in a single week, when the number of inmates was 4,868-that ,in the half-year ending the 29th of September last, one thousand and fourteen deaths occurred as certified by the Chairman of the Board-that 11¼ d. per week was the frightfully insufficient allowance for the weekly maintenance of an adult pauper-that the dietary was short of the prescribed allowance, and unfit for human food-that the Union of starvation and suffocation was the cause of the enormous mortality” ---------------.

1851 20th April (Weekly Dispatch) @ British Library Online Newspapers.
House of Commons-Tuesday. The Kilrush Union: Mr. Monsell drew attention to the mortality in the Kilrush and Ennistymon Unions, in the latter of which, in two weeks, there had been 253 deaths out of 3,893 persons-- a proportion unexampled, he said, in the history of charitable institutions in this country. Lord J. Russell said every means that could be adopted to remedy this state of things had been taken by the Commissioners, who had ascertained that sufficient diet was provided for the inmates of the Unions: but he was sorry to say that, from the condition of the persons who entered the work-house, great mortality could not be prevented.
1851 2nd June (CJ). Kilrush Union: Workhouse now has accommodation for 5,070: number of inmates 5,142 with 34 deaths this week. Number for out-door relief 4060.

1851 2nd June (CJ).
Kilrush Petty Sessions:
-- Tony Purtill for buying bread from the paupers of Leadmore Auxiliary Workhouse was sentenced to one month's imprisonment with hard labour. ---

1851 4th June (Daily News) @ British Library Online Newspapers.
Ireland: The Poor-law Commissioners have authorised an advance of £2,000 from the rate in aid fund to the Kilrush Union, to aid in defraying the expenses of pauper emigration.
1851 7th August (CJ). Emigration of Female paupers: A large amount of female inmates having been selected for emigration the requisite outfit was procured by direction of the Board and 400 of this class now take their departure for a foreign shore where it is hoped that they will be able to earn an independent livelihood, which they failed to do in their native land. One hundred of them embarked at Kilrush, on Friday-and as they were passing from the workhouse through the town in procession to the Quay accompanied by the Chairman and some members of the Board, they formed the subject of generous remarks both on account of the neat and respectable manner in which they were clad as well as their healthful and cheerful appearance.--
Another one hundred and twenty were ready to embark on Saturday. ----.

1851 21st August (CJ).
Kilrush Petty Sessions:
-- Michael Neville for buying a jacket and cap belonging to the Union – was sentenced to one month's hard labour.

1851 9th October (CJ).
The “Jessy” which sailed from Kilrush with emigrants in August including a number of female paupers arrived at Quebec on the 13th September and landed her passengers all well. The captain speaks highly of the conduct of the paupers on the voyage. ---.

1851 22nd December (CJ).
Kilrush Union Board of Guardians meeting on Saturday: Col C M Vandeleur D L in the chair

1851 29th December (CJ)
Christmas Day in Kilrush Union Workhouse. ----It appears that when Col Vandeleur and Richard N Donovan Esq with a few other guardians had visited the Board Room on Christmas Eve it was proposed to them to give the paupers a meat dinner which they immediately agreed to-------.

1852 8th March (CJ).
Kilrush Union Board of Guardians meeting on Saturday: ---- Col C M Vandeleur D L in the chair State of the House: In the Workhouse on the 27th February 4017, admitted 104, discharged 39, born 1, died 10, remaining in the Workhouse 4073. Weekly cost of each 12½d, fever hospital is 9d, infirmary is 10¼d.
----- Emigration:
-- Mr. Gibson of Kilrush emigration agent who has contracted with the Board for transmitting 40 of the pauper inmates to New Orleans, at £3 each besides 4s each to himself for going personally to Liverpool and superintending the arrangements for their passage, attended before the Board in consequence of it having intimated that this was not a suitable season of the year for sending emigrants to New Orleans, and that Quebec would be a more proper destination. Mr. Gibson expressed himself anxious to meet the wishes of the Board. ---.

1852 21st June (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Number remaining in the Workhouse 4,829.

1853 21st March (CJ).
Kilrush Union- March 12th, State of the Workhouse:
In the House 2757 Admitted 93 Discharged 100 Died 8.----- Remaining 2742.

1853 30th May (CJ).
Kilrush Union-State of the Workhouse. Number remaining 2,631
Infirmary 231 Fever Hospital 41, Sick with Ophthalmia and Skin disease 169. Total 441.

1853 5th September (CJ).
Kilrush Union – State of the Workhouse. Number remaining 1,869.
Infirmary 137 Fever Hospital 25, Sick with Ophthalmia and Skin disease 75. Total 237.

1853 20th October (CJ).

Kilrush Union – State of the Workhouse. Number remaining 1,309.

1854 2nd January (CJ).
The Board of Guardians – will on Saturday the 31st day of December instant receive and consider tenders for the supply of
100 stone of onions at per stone
40 tons of turnips at per ton
40 tons mangel-wurzel at per ton ----- December 1853.

1854 27th February (CJ).
Kilrush Union: State of the Workhouse-----------remaining 1597.

1854 29th June (CJ).
Kilrush Union: State of the Workhouse-----------remaining 1527.

1854 14th August (CJ).
Kilrush Union: State of the Workhouse-----------remaining 1445.

1854 21st September (CJ).
Kilrush Union: State of the Workhouse-----------remaining 1011.

1855 29th January (CJ). Advertisement.
Kilrush Union:
To be let or the interest sold the concerns at present occupied as an Auxiliary Workhouse at Leadmore.
And capable of containing 1400 persons these premises were originally used as a distillery and comprise a large double store, in thorough repair: Dwelling house, offices, garden and lawn suitable for a private residence: and the distillery and quay containing over 200 sq. ft.
The concerns are held under a lease dated 27th January 1849, for a term of 930 years with a three months clause of surrender subject to a yearly rent of £150.
The premises are situate at the mouth of the creek of Kilrush Harbour and are admirably adopted for corn provision or distillery trade. A large sum has been expended by the guardians in the improvement of the concerns, which are in thorough order and repair.
Any further information required will be afforded an application at my office here.
E.J. Kennedy, Clerk of the Union. 4th September 1854.

1855 29th January (CJ).
In the Kilrush Union Workhouse and its auxiliaries, there were 1,071 paupers on the 20th inst., for which 180 were sick. --- classified as follows: able-bodied males 74, females 106, adults infirm and not working, males 14, females 22... There were 260 boys and 299 females. There were 54 male children and 30 female, which with 25 infants comprised the healthy inmates. The sick list were classified thus; adults males 52 females 73 boys 26 girls 17 children boys 3 girls 2 infants 4.

1855 5th April (CJ).
Kilrush Board of Guardians:
-- The following tenders (to terminate on the 29th September 1855) were accepted:
John Allen to supply coffins 1st size for persons of 15 years and upwards at 4s-5d each: 2nd size for persons of 9 years and under 15 at 2s-4d each: and 3rd size for persons of 9 years and under that age at 1s-6d each. In each, case the scantlings to be ¾ inches thick.
-- John Bowman to cleanse the chimneys of the workhouse and auxiliaries for the sum of £2-15s.
-- Christopher Ives to keep the clocks of the workhouse in repair for 12 months for the sum of £1-15.
-- Patrick Mara and Michael Coffee’s tenders to supply the workhouse with shoes were accepted the former to supply 15 pairs at 4s-3d per pair and the latter to supply 15 pairs at 4s-5d per pair.
---Stephen Fox was declared the contractor for the weekly supply of breadstuffs.

1855 29th October (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Board of Guardians.
-- Resolved:-that in consequence of the incorrect reports of the proceedings of this Board from time to time ---- direct that the reporter of the Clare Freeman be excluded from the Board Room. ---.

1858 15th April (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Col. C M Vandeleur JP DL,Richard Studdert Esq JP,Thomas Studdert Esq,having been respectively proposed and seconded for the office of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Deputy Vice Chairman were unanimously re-elected for the coming year.
The following gentlemen were appointed members of the finance committee Col CM Vandeleur----.

1858 28th October (CJ).
Kilrush Workhouse----------------No of inmates 270.

1859 27th January (CJ).
-- The Board of Guardians on the Union will on Saturday the 5th day of February 1859 will receive and consider from competent persons for the situation of Workhouse Master at a salary of £40 per annum with apartments and first class rations.

1859 7th March (CJ).
Kilrush Union-Saturday. Guardians present: Ex-officio-Colonel Vandeleur presiding, Henry S Burton, Jonas Studdert, Admiral Studdert, Richard Studdert,R H Borough S O'Gorman and Thomas Keane Esqs.

1860 2nd January (CJ).
To the Editor of the Clare Journal: Kilrush 1st January 1860:
Dear Sir, In the report of the proceedings of the Ennis Board of Guardians in your paper of the 20th ult., Mr Lucas appears to have stated that the consumption of whiskey in the Kilrush Workhouse has been 100 glasses and of porter 140 bottles during the week. This is a mistake. The entire consumption of whiskey for the last nine months was only two-half gallons and there has not been one bottle of porter used during the last two months. I am -----.

-------- Collections are being made to provide fuel for the poor of Kilrush. Colonel Vandeleur presided at a meeting for that purpose in the last week.
-------- The guardians of Kilrush decided against Mr. R. Borough’s proposal to surrender the farm, held for cultivation by the paupers.

1860 20th August (CJ).
Kilrush Union. State of the house on Saturday 4th August 252, births 1, admissions 8, discharged 9, died 1, remaining 251.

1860 19th November (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
The following are the rates now ordered for collection for the support of the poor for the next six months. --- Kilkee 1s-0d, ----Kilrush 1s-6d, --- Knock 6d. --- Querrin 6d, -- Moyarta 7d. ---.

1860 31st December (CJ).
--- Daniel Conway a sailor in the hospital applied a second time to the guardians to refund his 11s-4d,which he paid for his maintenance as otherwise he would not be able to leave the workhouse to look for employment
The clerk was directed to refund the money.

State of the Workhouse; ---Number remaining in the house 271.

1861 3rd June (CJ).
Kilrush Union: An excellent Resolution:
The master of the Kilrush Workhouse informed the Board that he has reduced the allowance of turf from twenty to fifteen sods for each fire. The nurses complain of the quantity allowed being insufficient. The principle of efficiency must be punctiliously observed by the guardians of the Union.

1863 6th April (CJ).
Kilrush Union:
In the Kilrush Union, Colonel Vandeleur, M.P., Chairman, Richard Studdert Esq, J.P., Vice-Chairman and Thomas Studdert Esq, Deputy Vice-Chairman was re-elected for the ensuing year. –

1863 4th May (CJ).
The Kilrush Board of Guardians and the poor law Commissioners:
These two bodies are at issue with each other at the present moment. A sickly woman named Mary Nolan was left some time ago at the Kilrush Workhouse gate. The dispensary doctor seeing her gave her a ticket for admission to the house. This was on Tuesday and the relieving officer acting on instructions that no person should be received unless in an urgent case, except on Board days refused to allow the woman until Saturday, when she was found to be in a dying state. She died a few days after, as alleged from want and exposure. The Commissioners have sent down a sealed order directing the dismissal of the relieving officer, and the guardians refuse to obey the order. ---

1863 26th October (CJ).
Kilrush and Kildysart Agricultural Society:
A special meeting of the guardians of the Kilrush Union was held in the Workhouse on Saturday last the 24th inst., for considering the propriety of establishing an Agricultural Society for the Union of Kilrush. ---

1864 25th February (CJ).
Kilrush Union : Remaining in the workhouse 523.

1864 21st March (CJ).
Kilrush Union : Remaining in the workhouse on Saturday March 12th 556.

1865 6th February (CJ).
Kilrush Union—Board of Guardians meeting Colonel C M Vandeleur M P in the chair.
No. in Workhouse 468.

1865 20th March (CJ).
Attendance of Guardians in the Kilrush Boardroom for the year 1864 to the 11th March 1865: Colonel C M Vandeleur M P 20, Admiral Studdert 2, Admiral Sir B MacNamara 0, Marcus Keane 0, Benjamin Cox 39, Edward P Westby 0.-----------.

1866 2nd April (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Registration:
Mr. Thomas Gibson of Kilrush has been appointed Deputy Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for this district.
---Doctor Elliott resigned--- Doctor Thomas B O’Donnell to continue in charge at the usual remuneration of £100 per annum.

1865 6th April (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur was unanimously elected chairman --.

1866 12th April (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Notice of Motion:
Proposed by Michael S Brew and seconded by R.W. Borough:- take notice that we will move this day fortnight that the clerk’s salary be increased to £120 per annum. The guardians present being unanimously of opinion that he is deserving of such increase in recognition of his past service and as an encouragement to him in carrying out his future duties.
Crofton Moore Vandeleur, Chairman, Board Room, 31st March 1866.

1866 23rd July (CJ).
Kilrush Union –Colonel Vandeleur M P in the chair; No in Workhouse 345.

1867 20th May (CJ).
New Potatoes: Mr. Michael Lynch, Henry Street,Kilrush has submitted for our (the guardians) inspection a specimen of early potatoes (Black Bull) grown in the open air, which for size and firmness we have not seen equalled by any grower in the Union this season.

1868 30th March (CJ).
Kilrush Union—the New Board—Colonel Vandeleur M P as Chairman, R W C Reeves Esq, D L as Vice Chairman.

1869 11th January (CJ).
Kilrush Union: Colonel Vandeleur,M.P., in the chair:
---- Mr. Moore of Kilkee preferred a charge against some guardians and officers of the Union for applying to their own private use some of the farming utensils &c.,the property of the workhouse. The Commissioners have requested a sworn investigation into the matter. ----- .

1869 25th January (CJ).
Case of Poisoning in the Kilrush Workhouse:
An inquest was held on Monday before Francis O'Donnell Esq, coroner on the body of Mary McMahon of Kilrush, who died in the Workhouse on Saturday night as believed from the affects of poison----- The following magistrates were also present –Colonel Vandeleur M P ----- Verdict died from the effects of poison wilfully administered by herself.

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Board of Guardians