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The End of the Irish Poor Law?Welfare and healthcare reform in revolutionary and independent Ireland$
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Donnacha Seán Lucey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087578

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087578.001.0001

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From outdoor relief to home assistance

From outdoor relief to home assistance

(p.41) 2 From outdoor relief to home assistance
The End of the Irish Poor Law?

Donnacha Seán Lucey

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the reform of the poor law in the early years of the Irish Free State. It highlights that despite the closure of workhouses principles of deterrence still permeated official welfare policies towards the able-bodied. Central and local government authorities remained primarily concerned that unchecked poor relief was immoral; in turn the workhouse-test, which underpinned the former poor law, was replaced with work-tests as a method to determine the eligibility of poor relief. This chapter also explores localised relief polices in county Kerry and Cork city. Furthermore, it highlights how principles of deterrence were challenged during periods of economic depression leading to further welfare reforms.

Keywords:   Irish Free State, able-bodied, work-tests, incorrigibly idle, home assistance, Kerry Board of Health and Public Assistance, South Cork Board of Assistance

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