Directly behind Ard Patrick housing estate is the site of the Famine Graveyard. To enter the graveyard, one must drive up into the housing estate an d there you will find and entrance between the first phase of houses built and the new houses (which have a porch). In 1997 the grounds of the graveyard was repaired and a headstone was erected in commemoration of these people who died during the Great Famine (1846-1849). The Comprehensive school is situated on the grounds of the ‘Old Hospital’ and the ‘Workhouse’ was situated where the first phase of houses are built.
During the time of the Famine, this Workhouse was a very important place in our town.The Famine was due to the failure of the potato crop, by a disease called “Blight”. At that time the main food taken was potatoes, and bread if the flour was available. This also became a problem as the flour got scarce.
In 1847 the famine had got so bad and that there were men roaming the countryside begging for food. The “Workhouse” became so overcrowded, which made the living conditions dreadful, causing a fever to spread rapidly. There was no ventilation,no food, not enough straw to make beds on the floor, and because the “Workhouse” was built on low ground it sometimes used to flood, causing a dreadful smell. This led to the death rate being one of the highest in the country. When these people died they were buried in the “Famine Graveyard”.
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