“Birr Union Workhouse” – A Photographic Exhibition
“Birr Union Workhouse” a photographic exhibition by Birr Photography Group was originally on show at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, Oxmantown Mall, Birr, County Offaly, Ireland from 17th August until 1st September 2013. The official opening was by local historian Margaret Hogan on Sunday 18th August 2013. The Exhibition then moved to Birr Library for the month of October 2013. Now, the Exhibition will be on display as part of the Workhouse tour at The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, County Galway from May to October 2014.
Birr Union Workhouse, its interior and exterior are the photographic subject for this exhibition with 41 images by thirteen photographers of Birr Photography Group.
Here is a small selection of the images in The Exhibition. Click on a thumbnail for Gallery.
Birr Workhouse designed by George Wilkinson was opened in 1842 just 3 years before the famine. Its function as an Institution was to deal with poverty by providing shelter and relief to the poor and destitute.
Since its closure in 1921 the functionality of this great historical building has been varied. From the 1930s it housed several small factories and was even used as a venue for a few Birr Vintage Week exhibitions.
Now on Birr Photography Groups visit to this Historical vacant site we discover how the wheels have turned. The Grand Old Building and its environs has now become its own poor and destitute.
This Exhibition also featured in the Birr Historical Society’s Conference on “Birr Workhouse” in Birr Theatre on Friday 6th to Saturday 7th September 2013 and The Birr Workhouse Conference talks in Birr Library on 6th and 9th November 2013.