Cork Baronies and Towns

This large county contains the whole of the united dioceses of Cork, Ross, and Cloyne, and about 28,800 plantation acres of that of Ardfert and Aghadoe. By the statute of the 4th of George IV., cap. 93, it was divided, for the more frequent holding of general sessions of the peace, into two districts, called the East and West Ridings: the former comprises the baronies of Duhallow, Orrery and Kilmore, Condons and Clongibbons, Fermoy, Kinnatalloon, Imokilly, Kerrycurrihy, Kinnalea, Barrymore, Barretts, and East Muskerry (with the exception of the parishes of Ahinagh and Aghabologue), together with the liberties of the city of Cork and of Kinsale: the West Riding is composed of the baronies of Ibane and Barryroe, Beer or Bear, Bantry, West Muskerry, Kinalmeaky, Courcies, East Carbery (east and west divisions), and West Carbery (east and west divisions), with the two parishes of Ahinagh and Aghabologue, in the barony of East Muskerry. Besides the city of Cork, which, with an extensive surrounding district forms a county of itself, it contains the borough, market, and sea-port towns of Youghal and Kinsale; the borough and market-towns of Bandon and Mallow; the sea-port and market-towns of Cove and Bantry; the market and post-towns of Fermoy, Skibbereen, Macroom, and Dunmanway; the ancient disfranchised boroughs of Baltimore, Castlemartyr, Charleville, Clonakilty, Doneraile, Midleton, and Rathcormac, all of which, except the first, are post-towns; the post-towns of Ballincollig, Buttevant, Castletown-Bearhaven, Castletown-Roche, Cloyne, Innishannon, Kanturk, Kildorrery, Kilworth, West Millstreet, Mitchelstown, Passage, and Rosscarbery; and the small towns of Castle-Lyons, Crookhaven, Liscarrol, and Timoleague.

Prior to the Union it sent twenty-four members to the Irish parliament, being two for the county at large, and two for each of the boroughs, besides the two for the county of the city of Cork. At present it sends to the Imperial parliament two representatives for the county at large, two for the city of Cork, and one each for the boroughs of Bandon, Kinsale, Mallow, and Youghal. The recent enactments have made no alteration in the number of representatives, but have constituted each riding a separate jurisdiction for the purposes of registry: the county members are elected at the court-house in the city of Cork. The total number of voters registered up to March, 1836, was 4394, of which 1179 were £50, 532 £20, and 1828 £10 freeholders; 158 £20, and 639 £10 leaseholders, and 23 £50, and 35 £20 rent-chargers.

The county is included in the Munster circuit: the assizes are held in the city of Cork; and by the act of the 4th of George IV., it is enacted that five general sessions of the peace shall be holden in alternate months in each of the two ridings, so that in the county at large a session is held every month, except the two in which the general sessions are holden for the entire county: the sessions for each division are directed to be holden, for the East Riding, alternately in the city of Cork, and at Midleton, Fermoy, Mallow, and Kanturk; and for the West Riding, alternately at Bandon, Macroom, Bantry, Skibbereen, and Clonakilty; the precise days to be settled by the high sheriff, the two assistant barristers, and the clerk of the peace. In all processes connected with these sessions, the several divisions are to be carefully distinguished as Cork County East Riding, and Cork County West Riding; but with the exception of the power given to the lord-lieutenant to appoint an assistant barrister for each, with a salary equal to that of similar officers in entire counties, the officers and jurisdictions of the county are not in any manner altered from those which are customary.

In the city of Cork are the county gaol and house of correction, rules for the management of which were drawn up by a committee of the magistrates in 1816, which were afterwards embodied in the general act for the prisons of Ireland. There are, besides, seventeen bridewells, situated respectively at Midleton, Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Bantry, Dunmanway, Macroom, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Mallow, Cove, Kinsale, Rosscarbery, Millstreet, Kanturk, Youghal, and Charleville. The number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed to the county prison in 1835, was 740. The local government is vested in a lord-lieutenant, 16 deputy-lieutenants, and 282 other magistrates; besides whom there are the usual county officers, including four coroners.

The constabulary force consists of 16 chief and 85 subordinate constables, and 426 men, with 17 horses, the expense of maintaining which is defrayed equally by Grand Jury presentments and by Government. The coast-guard districts are those of Youghal, containing the stations of Helwick Head, Ardmore, Youghal, Knockadoon, and Ballycotton; Cove, containing the stations of Ballycroneen, Poor Head, Lighthouse, East Ferry, Cove, Cork, Crosshaven, and Robert's Cove; Kinsale, containing the stations of Upper Cove, Oyster Haven, Old Head, Howshand, Courtmasherry, Barry's Cove, Dunny Cove, and Dirk Cove; Skibbereen, containing the stations of Milk Cove, Glandore, Castle-Townsend, Barlogue, Baltimore, Long Island, Crook Haven, Dunmanus, and Whithorse; and Castletown, containing the stations of Colaris, Garnish, and Castletown: the entire force consists of 5 inspecting commanders, 32 chief officers, and 251 men. The public charitable institutions are the lunatic asylum, house of industry and infirmary at Cork, an infirmary at Mallow, 12 fever hospitals, and 48 local dispensaries, maintained partly by subscription and partly by grand jury presentments: the dispensaries are situated respectively at Mitchelstown, Millstreet, Castletown-Roche, Bandon, Ovens, Ballyneen, Newmarket, Kanturk, Cloyne, Rosscarbery, Timoleague, Charleville, Buttevant, Kildorrery, Dunbullogue, Whitechurch, Kinsale, Glanworth, Fermoy, Glenville, Midleton, Bantry, Ballyclough, Skibbereen, Rathcormac, Glandore, Innishannon, Donoughmore, Doneraile, Glanmire, Carrigaline, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Cove, Kilworth, Ballydehob, Passage, Macroom, Castletown-Bearhaven, Inniscarra, Conna, Castlemartyr, Magourney, Crookstown, Ballymacoda, Blarney, Glauntain, and Water-grass Hill.

The total amount of the county Grand Jury presentments, for 1835, was £62,645. 15. 8 ¾., of which £6978. 19. 0 ¾. was for the public roads and bridges of the county at large; £17,629. 16. 5. for public roads, being the baronial charge; £21,026. 19. 5. for public establishments, officers' salaries, and buildings; £9864. 16. 6. for police, and £7145. 4. 4. for repayment of advances made by the Government. In the military arrangements the county is in the Southern District; it contains sixteen military stations, situated respectively at Ballincollig, Buttevant, Charles Fort, Clonakilty, Fermoy, (which is the principal, and the military depot of the district,) Kinsale, Mallow, Millstreet, Mitchelstown, Youghal, Skibbereen, and, in Cork Harbour, at Spike Island, Camden Fort, Carlisle Fort, Rocky Island, and Hawlbowling Island; and affording barrack accommodation in the whole, for 352 officers and 6799 men.

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