This pioneering collection 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, the book fills 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, proving a further stimulus to the growing field of Irish welfare.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Poverty and Welfare in Ireland, 1838-1948 ~ Virginia Crossman and Peter Gray
PART 1. Regional Dimensions of the Irish Poor Law
2. Poor Relief in the North of Ireland, 1850-1921 ~ Olwen Purdue
3. Poor Relief in the West of Ireland, 1861-1911 ~ Donnacha Seán Lucey
4. Poor Relief in the South of Ireland, 1850-1921 ~ Georgina Laragy
PART 2. New Perspectives on the Irish Poor Law
5. Yardsticks for Irish Workhouses during the Great Famine ~ Cormac Ó Gráda
6. Orphans and the poor Law: Rage Against the Machine ~ Anna Clark
7. The Origins of Child Welfare Under the Poor Law and the Emergence of the Institutional versus Family Care Debate ~ Caroline Skehill
PART 3. Landlords, Philanthropists and the Relief of Poverty
8. William Smith O’Brien, Poor Laws and Convicts ~ Richard P. Davis
9. Clearing the Estates to Fill the Workhouse: King’s County Land Agents and the Irish Poor Law Act, 1838 ~ Ciarán J. Reilly
10. Female Cultural Philanthropy: Alice Hart and the Donegal Industrial Fund ~ Seán Beattie
PART 4. Medicine and Public Health
11. Medical Victories: The Dublin Medical Press and the Medical Charities Debate, 1838-51 ~ Ann Daly
12. The Medical Profession, Health Care and the Poor Law in Nineteenth-Century Ireland ~ Laurence M. Geary
13. ‘An enormous amount of distress among the poor’: Aid for the Poor in Ulster during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 ~ Patricia Marsh
14. Ending the Pauper Taint: Medical Benefit and Welfare Reform in Northern Ireland, 1921-39 ~ Peter Martin
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.