Kerry Baronies

This county is entirely within the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe. For purposes of civil jurisdiction it is divided into the baronies of Clanmaurice, Corkaguiney, Dunkerron, Glanerough, Iraghticonnor, Iveragh, Magonihy, and Trughenackmy. It contains the borough market and assize town of Tralee; the incorporated towns of Cahirciveen and Killarney; the post-towns of Kenmare, Listowel, Milltown, Tarbert, and Valencia; and the smaller towns of Ballylongford, Blennerville, Castlegregory, and Castleisland, which, with the ancient incorporated town of Ardfert, and the villages of Annescalle, Ballybrack, Ballyheigue, Killorglin, and Sneem, have each a penny post. Prior to the union it sent eight members to the Irish parliament,—two knights of the shire, and two representatives for each of the boroughs of Tralee, Dingle, and Ardfert; but since that period its sole representatives have been the two members for the county at large, and one representative for the borough of Tralee, in the imperial parliament. The county constituency, as registered at the last general election, amounted to 1212, of which number, 989 polled. The election for the county takes place at Tralee.

The county is included in the Munster circuit: the assizes and general quarter sessions are held at Tralee, and quarter sessions are also held at Killarney, in the former of which towns are the county courthouse and county gaol; and there are bridewells at Cahirciveen, Castleisland, Dingle, Kenmare, Killarney, Listowel, Milltown, and Tarbert. The number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed to the several prisons, in 1835, was 636; and of civil bill commitments, 199. The local government is vested in a lieutenant, 17 deputy-lieutenants, and 122 magistrates, including the Provost of Tralee and the Sovereign of Dingle, who are magistrates of the county for the time being; besides whom there are the usual county officers, including three coroners.

There are 30 constabulary police stations, having in the whole a force of 7 chief and 26 subordinate constables, and 130 men, with 11 horses, the expense of whose maintenance, in 1835, was £5818, of which, £2830 was defrayed by grand jury presentments, and the rest by Government. Along the coast there are 15 coast-guard stations, 4 in the district of Valencia, having a force of 4 officers and 31 men; 6 in that of Dingle, with 7 officers and 36 men; and 5 in the district of Tralee, with 3 officers and 35 men; each district is under the control of a resident inspecting commander. The county infirmary, lunatic asylum, fever hospital, and dispensary are at Tralee; and there are a dispensary and fever hospital at Killarney, and dispensaries situated respectively at Tarbert, Listowel, Milltown, Dingle, Castleisland, Cahirciveen, Kenmare, and Sneem, supported equally by private contributions and grand jury presentments. The entire amount of grand jury presentments, in 1835, was £30,951. 4. 7 ½., of which £19,672 was for the public roads, buildings, institutions, and all other charges on the county at large; and £11,279. 4. 7. for the public roads, being the baronial charge.

In the mountainous districts the applotments are made by what are called reduced ploughlands, each being divided into 60 acres, called reduced acres; but these ploughlands are determined rather by their proportionable quality and value than by their superficial extent; for the larger they are, the coarser and less fertile; the smallest being the most fruitful. In the military arrangements that part of the county south of the river Flesk is included in the Southern District, the other part to the north of the river being in the South-western District, and containing a barrack station for infantry at Tralee, affording accommodation for 17 officers and 456 non-commissioned officers and men; and the two batteries on the islands of Carrigue and Tarbert, each mounting six 24-pounders and containing bomb-proof barracks for about 20 men.

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »