The Montiaghs ~ Workhouse

 

Finally and upon reflection two points must be made if only to add to the information on famine in the Montiaghs. In only one instance during research in the area was The Hungry Grass (Feir Gorta) mentioned and that was, surprisingly, in the townland of Derryloiste which had not one recorded Catholic burial in 1847 and 1848. Husband, wife and grown-up family on the farm concerned agreed that the lane and fields leading down to the River Bann contained hungry grass and stated that they always carried a biscuit or similar food while walking in the lane and fields. Secondly, the Montiagh people appeared to have a choice in their place of dying during these bad years. When death seemed a possibility, generally speaking the residents, young and old, Catholic and Protestant, were maintained to death and given a homely burial.

Few were sent or brought to the Workhouse to die, a trend not fully observed in 1841, the year of birth for Lurgan Union Workhouse when nine Montiagh residents entered the workhouse. All being elderly or very old except for one abandoned infant.

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