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Whatever the reason for them being there, daily workhouse life would not have been kind to the family. Historical reports suggest families were often separated and Mary's day would undoubtedly have consisted of arduous manual work, whilst also trying to look after her young children. Yet, with nowhere else to turn during times of hardship, many of the inmates in Dublin's workhouses would have been grateful to be there, if only for a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.

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