Beggary and beggars were ubiquitous features of pre-Famine Irish society. Their prevalence fascinated (and oftentimes appalled) foreign travellers, perturbed the wealthier classes, and evoked a range of responses from the poor. In the decades before the Great Famine more than fifty charities (mendicity societies) aimed specifically at suppressing begging and alms-giving were established throughout Ireland. However, the introduction of the Poor Law system in the late-1830s led to the rapid disappearance of these organisations from the welfare landscape. This paper examines this phenomenon and sets the mendicity society movement within a wider international context.
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You are invited to attend the launch of Dr McCabe’s book, Begging, Charity and Religion in Pre-Famine Ireland, which will immediately follow his paper and the Q&A session.
Professor Marian Lyons will speak.
For more information see Ciaran McCabe book launch invitation