Built on the instruction of Everleigh Dayrolles deMoylens, who became 4th Baron Ventry in the spring of 1868, Killorglin Courthouse (Petty Sessions) was originally intended to occupy the site of Castleconway House. David Thompson, Ventry’s Land Agent, had demolished two-thirds of the structure, when it was decided to build the Courthouse on Market Street. This building served as the area District Court for over 140 years, closing in 2017.
In the nineteenth century, the Petty Sessions Court had the same jurisdiction as the modern District Court; it dealt with minor (public order) offences and compensation for ‘small’ claims cases. In Killorglin (19thcentury) it sat every second Tuesday of the month. Guy’s Directory (1886) listed Major Francis McGillycuddy as Clerk of the Petty Sessions, while Martin Burke served as the Civil Bills officer. The building was also used to display public notices for both Local government ordinances and Constabulary (Police) business. Also, the building served as a polling centre in parliamentary elections.
Following the Ballykissane Drowning Tragedy on Good Friday 1916, the three bodies were recovered from the river Laune and brought to Killorglin courthouse by the R. I. C. to facilitate post-mortem examination.
Due to the unsafe and deteriorating condition of the building, the final District Court sitting in Killorglin Courthouse was held on Thursday, March 16th, 2017. Since then, Caherciveen Courthouse has been the sole venue for District Court sittings for Iveragh, as Caherciveen Gárda district includes Killorglin within its remit.
The property of Kerry County Council (since the 1898 Local Government Act), there are plans to refurbish and repurpose this landmark building as a Heritage & Cultural Centre in tandem with Killorglin Archive Society and other community groups.