Killiney Castle, Dublin

Repository: Irish Jesuit Archives

Identity Statement

TitleKilliney Castle, Dublin
Archive ReferenceIE IJA/CM/KILL
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1873-1879
Extent Medium1 box


Creator(s): Irish Jesuits

  • Administrative History ↴

    In 1873 the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased Killiney Castle to be used as a villa house (vacation). The events leading up to the purchase of this property were long and protracted. In a memorandum written by Fr. William Delany (CM/KILL/3) he describes how the Society came across Killiney Castle and the negotiations that took place to secure its purchase. After viewing the property the Jesuit Fathers were very inclined towards it and decided to make an offer of £11,000 for the Castle and its estate. However, before the deal was finally settled Fr. Walsh (Fr. provincial) insisted, despite grave objections by some of the other priests (namely Fr. Norton and Fr. Delany himself), on telling the Cardinal. This action proved to be a mistake with the Cardinal reacting negatively to the property deal. (It should be noted that permission from the Cardinal was necessary for the establishment of a new religious house but not for the purchase of a property). Fr. Delany describes how it was now too late to back out of the deal and insisted on informing the owner of Killiney Castle (Mr. Warren) of the difficulty that had arisen. Fr. Delany was also delegated to pay a visit to the Cardinal to plead the case on behalf of the Society and to outline their plans for the property. Again the Cardinal was not supportive, particularly when it was mentioned that the Society of Jesus were thinking of opening a school for boys. Eventually an agreement was reached that the property could be bought but that a decision as to how it would be utilised would have to be deferred. Because of the delay Fr Delany discovered, after his meeting with the Cardinal, that another offer had been made and accepted. This second obstacle made it necessary for Fr. Delany to enter another set of negotiations to purchase the property from Mr. Richard Martin for the sum of £12,250. Following the purchase of the property in 1873 by the Society of Jesus a good deal of structural and maintenance work was carried out e.g. CM/KILL/4 and CM/KILL/8 - CM/KILL/13. Despite the work carried out and the outlay of money on improving the Castle and grounds the Society made a decision to sell the property only six years later in 1879 to Mr. Chippindale Higgin CM/KILL/33. It would appear that the Castle and estate were sold at a loss to the Society. The collection does not reveal why the Society decided to sell Killiney Castle. However, the collection does reveal that a number of different parties were interested in purchasing the property e.g. the Brothers of St. John of God in France (CM/KILL/1, CM/KILL/35 and CM/KILL/37), an American gentleman (CM/KILL/36) and Mr. Chippendale Higgin (CM/KILL/33), the eventual purchaser. Fr. Fergal McGrath S.J. (former Irish Province Archivist) carried out some research regarding Killiney Castle (CM/KILL/1 and CM/KILL/2). He remarks that Killiney Castle does not appear in any of the Catalogues for the years 1873 - 1879 but that some priests (Fr. Burke-Savage and Fr. E. Kent) recalled that both Fr. Lambert McKenna and Fr. James Brennan had gone on villa (vacation) to Killiney Castle. There appears to be no evidence from the collection or from the Catalogues that Killiney Castle was used by the Society as a permanent residence. However, in the Memorials of the Irish Province S.J. Part II, Centenary Year 1814 - 1914 a reference is made to Killiney Castle; “1878 - During 1878 two more priests died at Milltown Park, Father Joseph Hughes of Crescent College arrived from the Killiney Villa and developed typhoid fever.” (p. 16). Fr. McGrath points out that Fr. Hughes could hardly have been living at Killiney alone (CM/KILL/2). In 1853, it appears that the Catalogue names the following as residing in Killiney; Frs Robert St. Leger, John St. Leger, William Moloney and James Reardon were resident at Druid Lodge, Killiney, Dublin.
  • Archival History ↴

  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Irish Jesuits ↴

    Purchase of Killiney Castle by the Society of Jesus (1873)

    Accounts (1874 – 1879)

    Structural and Maintenance Work (1877 – 1879)

    Estate Matters (1878)

    Letting of Killiney Castle (1878)

    Sale of Killiney Castle by the Society of Jesus (1878 – 1879)

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Accruals ↴

  • Arrangement ↴

    Material was catalogued in 1998, with some additions in 2006.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details:
Conditions Governing ReproductionNo material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.
Creation Dates1873-1879
Extent Medium1 box
Finding Aids Descriptive List Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteDamien Burke
Rules/ConventionsIGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description. Dublin: Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009. ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.Irish Guidelines for Indexing Archives. Dublin: Archives and Records Association, Ireland, 2013.
Date of Descriptions42856