Genealogical and Historical Research Service in Ireland


Dividing Line

Poor Law Union.

This division was created under the Irish Poor Law Act of 1838. The purpose for its creation was to collect the poor rates from the inhabitants in order to provide for the poor and destitute within the union. While they were composed of a number of townlands they crossed county boundaries and consisted of an area up to approximately 15 miles radius of the workhouse.

By 1864 there were 163 Poor Law Unions in existence, in the whole country, and a workhouse was built in each. Later the following
four Unions were dissolved and the districts within same were transferred to other neighbouring Unions. These were:-

Donaghmore Union, in County Laois (formerly Queen's County).
It was created in June 1850 from Roscrea Union but from 1 January 1887 was dissolved and its townlands were transferred to the Union of Roscrea or the Union of Urlingford.

Glin Union in Counties Kerry and Limerick
It was created March 1850 out of the Union of Listowel and the Union of Rathkeale. But it was dissolved from 1 January 1892 and its townlands transferred to the Union of Listowel or the Union of Rathkeale.

Gortin Union in County Tyrone.
It was dissolved 1 April 1889 and its townlands transferred to the Union of Omagh or the Union of Strabane.

Newport Union in County Mayo
It was created October 1849 from the Union of Westport. It was dissolved 1 January 1886 and its townlands transferred to the Union of Westport.




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Last update 09 September 2023.