Built in 1894-95 by the Board of Works, Killorglin R.I.C. barracks served as a police barracks until 1922. During August 1922 it became a National Army outpost, a function it carried out until 1924 when it was handed to the Garda Síochana.
The barracks were the focus of attacks during the Battle for Killorglin in the course of the Civil War.
At 6.00am on Wednesday, September 27th 1922 a massive explosion rocked Killorglin as the Republicans detonated a land mine on the top floor of Dodd’s (a next-door shop), the expectation being that the blast would collapse the wall in the dormitory section of the barrack, burying many of the garrison. The force of the explosion blew Lieutenant O’Callaghan from his bed and shattered many slates on the roof, but the building (constructed circa 1895/96) was far more robust than most of the town’s housing stock. Land mines were the nearest equivalent technology the Republicans had to parallel an artillery strike. The problem was that a wall could re-direct the force of the blast, and this is probably why the main damage was inflicted in Dodd’s premises rather than the barrack walls.
The explosion in Dodd’s ushered in co-ordinated attacks on the town’s remaining outposts. Morris’ Hotel (Lehane’s Command HQ) came under fire from Republicans based in the upper floors of the mill, a three story building nearby on Annadale Road.
In another part of the barracks troops observed the head of a pickaxe coming through the brickwork in a chimney. As the hole grew in size they removed the pins from two hand grenades and lobbed them at the men who were boring through the wall from O’Sullivan’s public house (now the Step Inn bar).
Around 10am the Republican forces detonated a second land mine in Dodd’s. For the second time the Barrack emerged unscathed, to the Republicans’ chagrin and disbelief.