Oughterard Workhouse Crib
By Mary Kyne
The Oughterard Workhouse was opened in 1852. George Wilkinson designed it at a cost of £7005 for 600 inmates. The workhouse replaced a “poorhouse” that was burnt down. There were several buildings in the Workhouse including a Fever Hospital, Dead House, Boardroom, homes for the inmates, a Dispensary and a Chapel.
To Build the Pier Road
1927-1928 stones were removed from the dilapidated buildings to build the Pier Road and the new Connemara road that runs through Claremount.
The big bell that hung on the gable wall of the dining room was given to Fr O Dea, parish priest of Camus. The bell is still in use.
Isadore Darcy, master of the workhouse, gave this crib into the safe keeping of Michael Roland, Main St.
Every Christmas from 1959-1985
1959 when Leam church was opened Patrick Roland, Michael’s son, entrusted the crib to Josie Geoghegan, Glengowla. Josie erected the crib every Christmas from 1959-1985 in Leam church. The year before he died Josie asked his son, Martin to take care of the crib. Keeping with tradition Martin erected the crib every Christmas up to 2003.
Cepta Carey (nee Geoghegan) restored the crib to its present magnificent condition. Gabhaimid buíochas le clann Uí Eochagáin as ucht an aire a thug said don chliabhán seo i rith na mblianta.