Poorhouse Stirabout

The city is three miles in circumference; and but one gate, called the water Gate of St. John's Castle, is now standing of the seventeen which were there in 1760. I found a laboring man near the poor-house, who told me there were 1700 inmates, and "I don't know what to say of the stirabout there they give 'em." "And what, sir, is the matter with the stirabout?" "Why, by dad, ma'am, 'twould give a man waik quawrters to ait it. They say it runs like wawter." This I found was the universal cry of all the beggars throughout Ireland, when told to go to the poor-house. "The stirabout is so waik, that 'twould take the life of ye." My stay in Limerick was too short, though I saw the whole town and its outward curiosities. The people was what I wanted to see. At three I took a car for Ennis, an ancient town going to decay. Clare Castle, standing a little distance from the town, now the abode of soldiers, makes a pretty appearance at the bridge upon the banks of the river. Here too are the remains of a Franciscan monastery, and you are told of a great battle fought here in 1298.

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.