The Loan Funds were 19th century institutions that provided credit to the poor
of Ireland. At their peak, in the years immediately prior to the Great Famine,
up to 13 individual loan funds operated in the greater Skibbereen area putting
£75,356 into circulation in the local economy over a 10 year period.
Some records survive for the Kilmoe & Crookhaven, Schull, Durrus, Creagh, Baltimore, Castletownsend, Glandore and Ballineen
funds. These records include loan details and also subsequent
follow up reports. The loan records give details of the amount of the loan and
the names of the guarantors. The follow up reports give an indication of how the
Famine affected the poor of West Cork and are one of the few surviving records that
offer information on who died and emigrated during this time.
Skibbereen Heritage Centre is delighted to provide a searchable database of the
five local Loan Funds in West Cork where records survive. These previously
unavailable ‘annals of the poor’ offer an insight into the circumstances of the
ordinary people of West Cork prior to, and as a result of, the Great Famine.
To search these records visit the Search Page
To find out more about the Loan Funds and to learn how to search this database