‘Reduced to the Utmost Want’: the poor of Dublin in the post-Famine period

William Dickson letter to Mansion House Relief FundGeorgina Laragy’s talk looks at the various state and charitable provisions made for the poor of Dublin in the post-Famine period exploring the workhouses, the night shelters and the Mansion House Relief Committee who provided for the people of Dublin and beyond during the ‘Little Famine’ of 1880-1881.

Dr Georgina Laragy is Glasnevin Trust Assistant Professor in Public History and Cultural Heritage at Trinity College Dublin. Georgina’s main focus is on social history, in particular history of suicide, death and poverty in nineteenth and twentieth century Ireland. She is also interested in the history of institutions, including workhouses, psychiatric hospitals, prisons and Magdalen asylums.

The Archives of the Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund 1880 are held at Dublin Cit y Archives.  Edmund Dwyer Gray, Lord Mayor of Dublin, set up the Dublin Mansion House Relief Fund on 2 January 1880 for the relief of distress in Ireland. Successive failures of harvests from 1877 – 1879 led to widespread devastation and hunger, historically known as the “little famine” of 1880.

The above letter, dated January 19th 1881 from William Dickson to the Mansion House Relief Fund is mentioned by Georgina in her talk. (Click image to enlarge.)

Recorded at Dublin City Library and Archive on 12 October 2017 as part of Dublin Festival of History.

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