AT ENNISKILLEN Guardians on Tuesday, Mr. J. M. Geddes presiding, it appeared that 26 casuals – homeless persons of diminished means – had been admitted into formal care of the workhouse during the week, and Mr. C. Healy remarked that this week was an extraordinary number for one week.

He thought this was owing to the depression in trade. Mr. E. Corrigan asked was it in the public interest to have institutions for these people to come to?

Chairman – It is not.

Mr. Healy said if there was no place for such persons to go to, they would be resting along the roadside, and sleeping under hay stacks, and probably farmers would find themselves minus hay and corn now and again.

The Chairman said the only remedy was to make these people do some work.

Minus arms and legs

The Master – The class of boys who are coming round now are not able to anything, as some of them are minus legs and arms.

Mr. E. Corrigan – If these workhouses were closed up altogether, outdoor relief could be given to the destitute poor.

Mr. Healy – But what are you going to do with the flotsam and jetsam of society going through the country?

The Chairman said they could be arrested and put in jail under the Vagrancy Act.

Mr. E. Corrigan said the question they should consider was would the closing up of workhouses increase the number of tramps?

Difficult things

Mr. Healy – It is one of the most difficult things a man could be engaged in, tramping from workhouse to workhouse.

After some further discussion, Mr. Healy said there was a general closing up of workhouses all across the country.

In a short while there would only be two in Donegal, two in Leitrim and two in Monaghan.

The tramp difficulty had been eliminated in areas in which workhouses had been closed up.