Funding Appeal

 

Funding Appeal to restore the 6-acre Carrickmacross Workhouse Site and

its Mass Famine Graves, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

 

NEWS FLASH

Throughout 2019 the Farney Community Development Committee working with our local elected representatives from Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District Council managed to secure funding for the purchase of the entire six-acre site in January 2020 from Monaghan County Council bringing the Workhouse back into community ownership. 

The Group urgently need to raise through fund raising and donations €80,000 to strip and save the 3,000 blue bangor slates on the two storey section of the rear building which is about to collapse. We also need to clear out the entire interior of the building for future surveys and planning.

If you decide to donate, please press the donate button. Donate Button

If you decide to donate by cheque, kindly cross it and make it payable to Carrickmacross Workhouse Donations Account, and post same to the Workhouse, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan - all monies will be acknowledged by a receipt.

Farney Community Development Group CLG., situated in Ireland's Ancient East, is a not for profit community organisation is launching a funding appeal to the Community at home and also the Irish Diaspora overseas to restore the remainder of the Carrickmacross Workhouse 6-acre Site and its Mass Famine Graves, in order to protect it from further deterioration.

The 6-acre Workhouse Site, which holds the Famine Graves of our ancestors and kinfolk, is a listed protected heritage area, the remaining semi-derelict building, comprising of 26,000 sq. ft. is also a listed Protected Structure. Despite this listed protection status, the site and remaining building has been allowed to deteriorate into dereliction over the last 30 years. 

Aerial Photo of Workhouse

Carrickmacross Workhouse embodies so much of the history, heritage, cultural fabric, and psyche of the people of South Monaghan. The majority of Irish families from South Monaghan living today had ancestral relatives seeking relief or shelter within the Workhouse wall, throughout that horrendous period of destitution during The Great Hunger. Many hundreds of our ancestors died as a result of malnutrition and related diseases and are buried in Mass Graves at the rear of the Workhouse site, and many hundreds more were forced to emigrate from it.

Carrickmacross Workhouse Site History 

The 6-acre site was purchased in 1839 by the Poor Law Commissioners for the erection of a workhouse for the Poor Law Union of Carrickmacross for a sum of £622.

On 21st January 1919, the newly formed Irish Government stated:

'The Irish Republic fully realises the necessity of abolishing the present odious, degrading and foreign Poor Law System, substituting therefore a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the Nation's aged and infirm, who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation's gratitude and consideration.'

After the formation of the Irish Free State, the Workhouses were transferred to the care of the new Central Health Board, who leased them for various purposes, and State Acts of 1930 and 1962 passed all Workhouses to Local Health Boards.

Carrickmacross Workhouse housed the first Vocational Technical School in the early 1930s and was also a base for a Farmer's Co-op - Fane Valley Co-operative, in 1952.

Fane Valley later merged with the Lough Egish Co-operative, Agricultural and Dairies Society.

In December 1988, the Central Health Board sold the 6-acre Workhouse site to Lough Egish Co-operative, for £1,200 punts.

Lakeland Dairies

The modern-day Lakeland Group was formed in 1990 through the merger of the then Killeshandra and Lough Egish Co-operatives, established in 1896 and 1902 respectively.

On 9th July 1998, Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society Ltd. granted Farney Community Development Group CLG. a 35-year lease on the derelict front Workhouse building comprising 24,000 sq. ft. for £2,500 punt per annum, for the purpose of restoring and refurbishing the building for 'the provision of community services, day courses and training workshops for the community.

In 2006, Lakeland Dairies offered 16 sites for sale nationwide, including the 6-acre Carrickmacross Workhouse site, with its two remaining original buildings.

In April 2007, Lakelands sold the Carrickmacross Workhouse site, to Heron Property Ltd., Magherafelt, Northern Ireland.  In 2018 Heron Property Ltd. agreed to sell the 6-acre Workhouse site to Farney Community Development Group CLG., including our lease-hold front building, for €545,000. 

Throughout 2019 the Farney Community Development Committee working with our local elected representatives from Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District Council managed to secure funding for the purchase of the entire six-acre site in January 2020 from Monaghan County Council bringing the Workhouse back into community ownership.

Farney Community Development Group CLG. have restored and converted the front block (comprising 24,000 sq. ft.) of the Old Poor Law Union Workhouse on the Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, into a Community Resource, Training and Heritage Centre, which currently supports 48 jobs.

Farney Community Development Group CLG. now seeks to undertake the following:

1.Through fund-raising and donations:

To restore the derelict back building for educational and community purposes.

2.Famine & Emigration Memorial Garden:

To develop a Famine Memorial Garden at the rear of the Workhouse, adjacent to the Mass Graves, to commemorate all those who died during the Great Hunger and also those who were forced to flee their homes to seek sustenance in foreign lands. 

 

Mass Famine Graves, Northwest Corner

 

Long Term Aim

Over the next 6 years, the Farney Group aim to restore the remaining back-building, which comprises 26,000 sq. ft, for the benefit of future generations, converting the remaining semi-derelict building and the open space at the rear of the Workhouse into an Educational and Community needs cluster. This will include a 150-seat auditorium with links to Universities world-wide for Community Educational purposes and the further development of space for special needs groups.  The Farney Group aim to develop additional offices and enterprise space which will ensure sustainability of the project. The estimated cost of this refurbishment is €2 million.

 

Derelict Back Building (Rear)

There is now an opportunity for the Community of South Monaghan, with the help of our Diaspora overseas, to help fund the restoration and development of the back building, ancestral Mass Graves and the remainder of the Heritage site.

The Ancestral Commemoration Memorial Park presents an opportunity to honour the memory of our kinfolk and their children who suffered and died of starvation and disease in a land of plenty.

 

Patronage Programme

As part of our patronage programme, we are seeking the generous support of our local community and the Irish Diaspora overseas who may wish to assist us in restoring the remaining Workhouse building and site.

We are now seeking Donors in Ireland and world-wide to subscribe towards Phase 2, the restoration of the entire 6-acre site.

The Farney Group will be grateful for any donations, small or large.

Recognition of Major Benefactors:

All contributors who donate in excess of €1,000 will have their name inscribed on the Workhouse Benefactors Plaque, which will be displayed publicly in the existing front workhouse building.

Donors of €5,000 or more will have the opportunity to name sections of the restored building. This once-off generosity will

be a gesture to be proud of, especially for those with strong genealogical links to Co. Monaghan and Ireland.

 

 

If you decide to donate, please press the donate button. Donate Button

If you decide to donate by cheque, kindly cross it and make it payable to Carrickmacross Workhouse Donations Account, and post same to the Workhouse, Shercock Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan - all monies will be acknowledged by a receipt.

 

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