A workhouse for the poor opened along Station Road, Lisnasaran, Cootehill on 2nd Dec 1842 with accommodation for 800 people. This rose to 1200 ‘inmates’ as they were called, at the height of the Famine (1845-1847).
Men, women and children lived in separate areas and were not allowed to intermingle during work hours. As men were sent to the quarry to break stones, the women were in washrooms. It is recorded that in 1864 a school was started for the workhouse children. In 1917 the Cootehill Workhouse closed and a few years later it was taken over by the “Black and Tans”. Eventually the Workhouse was demolished, but the fever hospital still remains. A Mass Grave for the famine victims to the back of the site contains a memorial dedicated to all who died in the Workhouse. A stark reminder of a chilling history, a visit will send a shiver down your spine.
Information kindly provided by Librarian and Local Tour Guide Margaret Bannon and from Cavan Monaghan Rural Development Co-op Society Ltd (2000) A Heritage Guide to the Cavan-Monaghan Region.