Friday, 9 March 2018

March 2018 Lecture - Workhouses and Hospitals: Institutions and Care, 1840-1940

The workhouse is an infamous institution in Ireland. Hated, feared and reviled for the role it played during the Irish Famine, these buildings became potent symbols of the failure of British rule in Ireland. The ‘odious and degrading’ poor law system was one of the first parts of the old government system that was reformed in the first years of the new state. This talk will explore the evolution of the workhouse and the popular attitudes to it, which showed a desire for reform rather than replacement and why these reforms led to the foundation of other institutions.

Our guest lecturer is Dr Aoife Bhreatnach, an independent scholar researching the cultural history of Irish garrison towns. A graduate of University College Cork, with a PhD from DeMontfort University and subsequent book, Becoming Conspicuous: Irish Travellers, Society and the State published in 2006 (UCD Press). From 2003-04, she held the Irish Government Senior Scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford and taught at the University of Warwick. A recipient of an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship from 2004-06, she worked in NUI Maynooth developing a theory of class in nineteenth-century Ireland. From this research emerged her interest in the role played by the British military in Irish social history. She blogs on and tweets as @GarrisonTowns.

Tuam Library
8 pm, Thursday 15 March
All Welcome