Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Athenry's Institutionalised through the Irish Census 1901 and 1911 by Ronan Killeen

Did you know that you can look at the hardcopy of the census were from Athenry in the Galway Jail on Nun's Island, the Workhouses of Galway City and Loughrea, the Magdalene Laundry of Foster Street (Sometimes known as Foster Place in the census) and St. Brigid's Psychiatric Hospital in the census. You will also know that derogative terminology was used in the past (of course a different time period) were today things are politcally correct because they have to be otherwise it is offensive or biased.

 Galway Jail

1  Go to

2 Click on Holdings.

3 Click on 'Search the records for census 1901 and 1911' tab.

4 Then go to 1901 census, type in Nun's Island in the townland section.

5. Look for initials on the census.

6. When a census with a whole bunch of initials come up click on prison return K or 2 or 3 and so on you will find people who are in jail some from Athenry I think

Here is the link and her is the link to the map of the jail,529510,725481,7,8 that is the 6" map and here is the 25" map,529510,725481,7,9. The jail was on the site of the Cathedral today.

Magdalen Laundry/Asylum of Foster Street

In the above steps from Galway Jail begin at step 4.

1. Type Foster Street into townland section and look for initials.

2. Click on the initals and scroll to the bottom and there it will say Prison return K (Though it is called household by 1911). You will notice that the occupations of these women were either Laundress or General Servant's here is the link Here is the 6" inch map were it called a 'Widows and Orphans Asylum' but in the 25" map it becomes Magdalene Asylum.

Loughrea Workhouse (You could do the same for Galway Workhouse but most Athenry people went towards Loughrea according to the census)

1. Go to the townland section and then type in Knockanima.

2. There is the initails -click on them.

3. Scroll down and click on workhouse return and so on.

Loughrea Workhouse on 25" map,562631,715761,6,9 it dosen't seem to be there on the 6" map so it may have been built later. The 6" inch maps are dated back as far the 1840's.

St. Brigid's Psychiatric Hospital Ballinasloe

1.  In the 1901 census type in Townparks.

2. Look for the initials and click on them

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see derogative terminology used during that period were it says the words 'Return of idiots and lunatics in institutions (Form I)'. Today it is called St. Brigid's Psychiatric Hospital Ballinasloe.  Here is the link Click on the 'Return of idiots and lunatics in institutions (Form I) including the numbers to read into the reasons why people from Athenry and other places got there.

On both the 6" inch map,585670,731063,7,8 and 25",586340,731104,7,9 inch map it was called the Connaught District Lunatic Asylum

Hope this is some use to anyone who has interest in Irish institutions.

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