This book provides a ground-breaking introduction to the history of poverty and welfare in modern Ireland in the era of the Irish poor law.
As the first study to address poor relief and health care together, this book will fill an important gap in the existing literature providing a much-needed introduction to, and assessment of, the evolution of social welfare in nineteenth and early-twentieth century Ireland.
The collection also addresses a number of related issues, including private philanthropy, the attitudes of landowners towards poor relief and the crisis of the poor law during the Great Famine of 1845–50.
Together this interlinking set of contributions will both survey current research and suggest new areas for investigation thus it is hoped, proving a further stimulus to the growing field of Irish welfare history.
Table of Contents
A preliminary (illustrated) essay by Peter Higginbotham on ‘The workhouses of Ireland’
1. ‘Welfare Regimes under the Irish Poor Law, 1851-1922’,
Olwen Purdue (QUB): Ulster
Sean Lucey (Oxford Brookes): Western Ireland
Georgina Laragy (Oxford Brookes): Eastern Ireland.
This section would also have a short introduction by the project leader, Virginia Crossman.
2. ‘Welfare and Catastrophe’:
Richard Davis (Uni. Tasmania) ‘William Smith O’Brien, Poor Laws and Vandiemonian
Ciarán Reilly (NUIM): ‘Clearing the estates to fill the workhouse: land agents and the Poor
Law Unions in King’s County in the 1840s’
Ashley Amidon (Uni. Hull) ‘Humanitarian crisis response in Ireland 1845-1850: Public vs.
private sector involvement’
3. ‘Medicine and Welfare’:
Larry Geary (UCC): ‘The medical profession, health care and the poor law in nineteenthcentury
Ann Daly (NUIM) ‘The Dublin Medical Press response to the Medical Charities Debate’
Julia Anne Bergin (NUIM) ‘The impact of the Poor Law on voluntary lying-in hospitals in
Patricia Marsh (QUB) ‘”An enormous amount of distress among the poor”: Aid for the poor
during the Influenza pandemic of 1918-19’
4. ‘Women, children and welfare’:
Caroline Skehill (QUB) ‘The origins of child welfare within the Poor Law’
Sean Beattie (UUM): ‘Female cultural philanthropy: Alice Hart and Donegal Industry’
Leanne McCormick (UUJ) ‘Bad, pregnant or missed the train: the role of the Belfast
Salvation Army home in women’s welfare, 1905-50’
5. ‘Beyond the Poor Law: welfare transition in the two Irelands’:
Inga Brandes (Uni. Trier): ‘Destitution, decency, deservingness: Continuity and change
within the Poor Law and Social Welfare System in Ireland, 1880s-1930s’
Peter Martin (QUB): ‘Medical Benefit in Northern Ireland 1911-39’
About the Author
Virginia Crossman is Professor of Modern Irish History, Oxford Brookes University.
Peter Gray is Professor of Modern Irish History and Head of the School of History and Anthropology, Queen’s University, Belfast.