William F Cunningham


This site is dedicated to the men and women, living and deceased, who dedicated their lives to the cause of Newry’s poor and dispossessed.  W.F.Cunningham rightly holds a special place among this illustrious few.

Steps in Earth History


The origin, nature and conditions required for the proliferation of life forms remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of science.  One possibility receiving serious consideration is that the earliest life forms came to us from space – perhaps from a nearby planet like Mars (and hence the interest in the experiments on that planet of the Mars rover vehicle Spirit). 

Biddy Hanratty


Bridget Hanratty, the last of our local Travelling Women, came to the door well equipped to receive the ‘charities’ that were happily and freely offered.  Despite this, she protested loudly when she was given money, or a few eggs, of a bowl of flour or meal, and potatoes for her sack.

Stick them up!


‘We weren’t being brave!  We just couldn’t understand what he wanted.’  So said…

I Remember

 I think the exiles among you will forgive me my self-indulgence just one…

More Adverts


More Newspaper Adverts: Wanted:  single girls, to pick fresh fruit and produce on…

Workhouse 6


In January 1847 there were 111,000 people in Irish workhouses built to accommodate 100,000. 

By 1851, a full five years after the Government had declared the Famine over and knighted Trevelyan for his efforts, there were 918 inmates in Newry Workhouse.

 Distress in the West was worse.

Workhouse 8


Numbers gaining admission to Workhouses fluctuated over the decades of the second half of the nineteenth century according to several principal factors.

Chief among these was the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Crop failure, want, starvation and destitution and homelessness consequent upon peasants being driven from their miserable holdings featured high among the causes.

Part 9 is here …

Emigrants Lists


The following long lists are reproduced solely for the benefit of any Newry exile in search of the ship on which their forebears left Newry or Warrenpoint in the nineteenth century.  The ships’ lists are neither representative nor exhaustive.

Workhouse 5


By the end of June 1849 the Master reported that during the last eighteen months 3,265 paupers had received one night’s lodging with supper and breakfast: also that 946 people remained (with relieving officers’ tickets) for the last nine months in the probationary wards, awaiting admission by the Guardians on Board day. It was resolved at the meeting of 23 June 1849 that except for the sick, infirm or those washing or cooking, all women’s shoes and stockings be taken from them. Likewise for all boys, who also lost neckerchiefs. All paupers who require it were to have close cropped hair-cuts.

If the aim was to clear the workhouse of these categories, it failed. By 18 August 1849 it was resolved to give outdoor relief for just one week longer.

Things changed over the next – some say, the last Great Hunger – year.




  [Christine Kinealy, acclaimed authority, Fellow of Liverpool University and author of This Great Calamity {Gill & Macmillan 1994} and Great Hunger in Ireland {Pluto, 1997}] begs to differ and argues the emergency continued to 1852 at least].

New Christians

Newry Journal wishes to congratulate the parents of the following new-born children whose…