Relief of the Poor

The whole question of the relief of the poor in Ireland had undergone prolonged and exhaustive examination from time to time both by Parliamentary Committees and Special Committees of Special Commissions of Inquiry. It had also been fully discussed in all its aspects and bearings in numberless pamphlets. The plan which finally found favour with the Government of Lord Melbourne was the adoption of the then new English workhouse system, established in 1834. The extension of this to Ireland was received with the utmost hostility in numerous and influential quarters, and in Galway and Mayo the powers of the law had to be invoked to enforce compliance with its provisions.


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