Transmissions

As well as taking beggars off the street by providing employment, Mendicity also funded transmission, the system whereby people were funded to return to their home place, a place where they had been promised employment, or to be reunited with friends or family.

Those applying for transmission were required to labour in Mendicity for four weeks while their cases were investigated. That generally sorted out the deserving from the undeserving, but written references, proofs of undertaking were required from local clergymen, police or prospective employers before the tickets were purchased, generally at a discount from the various steam packet and railway companies.

Generally the transmissions were to other parts of Ireland or to England, but there were a couple of French plumbers who wound up in Dublin, some Poles and a Russian sailor who missed his boat in Galway. Between June and December 1818 over 2,600 people were transmitted.

The service continued until 1969 when Paddy Power, a 23 year old living in The Iveagh Hostel applied for the fare to Navan where he had a letter of admission for an operation. The final note in the transmissions book reads, ‘cancelled – did not turn up for bus.’