Carlow Workman’s Club is located on Browne Street in Carlow town, Ireland. The club which is over 100 years old is run on a volunteer basis by its members. Working men’s clubs began to be established in the middle of the 19th century throughout, Ireland, Great Britain and in other parts of the world. They were established to provide recreation and education for working men and their families. The clubs are non-profit organisations run by members.
Meetings were held in Carlow town in late 1898 and early in 1899 to discuss the establishment of a Trade’s Council and Workman’s Club. The only requirement for membership was that the person wishing to become a member was a working man. The club was to be non-sectarian and non-political. A committee was established and a premises at 13 Browne Street was rented. The club, along with providing services for members, began to play an active part in the community. It sought to lobby politicians to improve housing standards. The Carlow Workman’s Club Dramatic Amateurs was established and a Brass Band was formed.
One of the members of the newly established Carlow Workman’s Club was Michael O’Hanrahan. He was later executed for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916. He appears to have played an active part in the activities of the club, including the expansion of club membership and the promotion of Irish workmanship. He also tried to use the club to promote the use of the Irish language. However his proposal to have information to club members circulated in Irish and English failed to succeed. O’Hanrahan resigned from the club when his proposal to refuse membership of the club to a Mr Hopkins was defeated. Mr Hopkins was a serving member of the British Army
Carlow Workman’s Club, which continues its activities today, held its first meeting at its premises on Brown Street, Carlow in the year 1899 On This Day.
Map of Carlow