Former Methodist Church


John Martin, a hardware merchant based in Langford Street, came from a long-established Killorglin Anglican family. In 1830 he attended a Methodist prayer meeting in Tralee and converted to the religious tenets outlined by John Wesley. In 1837 he and his three sons were lay ministers running a “Methodist Meeting house” – probably from their own home (Samuel Lewis’ Typographical Dictionary).

A purpose-built Meeting House was constructed by Edward O’Sullivan in 1869, most probably funded by the Martin family. Even at its height – in 1901 – when the entire Methodist congregation in Kerry numbered 300-400 members, Killorglin Methodism was confined to three or four families, extending from Glenbeigh to Callinafercy. In the late 1940s the Wharton family of Banshagh joined the Church of Ireland, who purchased the Market Street premises as a Community Hall. In the 1970s the building was used as a temporary Bank while the adjacent Bank of Ireland branch underwent refurbishment. It was subsequently used as an additional classroom by the neighbouring Intermediate School (now the “Tom O’Donnell Memorial Building”), prior to moving into private ownership.