The workhouse – an unworkable solution to Irish poverty
There is no doubt about it, the workhouse, whose structure was a blot on the Irish landscape, was the most feared and hated institution in the terrified imaginations of the Irish poor. They would do anything to avoid submitting to that hellish last resort with its harsh rules and inhumane regimes, and that included dying of starvation during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852. The nine to eleven feet high external walls conveyed a message of enter at your peril.
The article on which this episode is based can be read here