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Heritage Ireland

Irish Workhouse and Famine Tour


Free of charge


17/08/2024 - 24/08/2024


Custom House Visitor Centre

A view of the Customs House Visitor Centre from the banks of the river Liffey

Join our expert guide Yvonne on a tour all about the most hated house in Irish History, the Workhouse.

These houses were basically a cruel and primitive social welfare style system, set up top deter all but the most desperate to avail of their services. Children would be separated from parents in these houses, husbands from wives. Long hours would be worked in horrendous conditions in exchange for the most basic of nourishment. This was the last place on earth you would want to end up!

A major network of just over a hundred of these houses were designed from the offices based here in The Custom House in the early 1840s. They would gain notoriety during An Gorta Mór (The Irish Famine) as places of ultimate squalor, disease and almost inevitable death for many residents. The administration for this system throughout these famine years all came from The Custom House too.

The only escape for many of the desperate hungry people during the famine was a route to America, Canada or Australia on what became known as the Coffin Ships.

Yvonne will bring to life the entire history of Ireland’s most hatred house on this one hour tour.


Custom House Quay
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0

046 940 7146

Getting Here

The Custom House is located in Dublin city centre on the north quay facing the river Liffey between Butt Bridge and Talbot Memorial Bridge.

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