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Kerry Kerry


"VENTRY, a parish, in the barony of CORKAGUINEY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 4½ miles (W.) from Dingle; containing 2596 inhabitants. The parish is situated in the interior of a harbour of the same name, on the northern slope of Dingle bay and near Dunmore Head, the most western point of Ireland: it contains 7087 statute acres, of which 2268 are coarse mountain land and bog.
The harbour is spacious and is considered to be a dependency on the port of Dingle, being seperated from it by a narrow peninsula, concerning which there is a tradition that it was the last ground possessed by the danes in Ireland, which is somewhat corroborated by a statement given in the "Book of Howth", that a great battle was fought here between the Irish and the Danes. The harbour is exposed to the gales from the south-east. On its western point, called Cahir Trant, is an ancient Danish intrenchment, and at Rathlanane are the remains of an old castle of the Knight of Kerry.
At a place called Fane, or Fahan, is a small cell or hermitage with a pointed roof of stone. There is a coastguard station at East Coumtra, belonging to the Dingle district.
The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and in the patronage of the Representatives of the Rev. John Crosbie: the tithes amount to £120; the glebe, which is in three portions, contains 4a. 3r. 25p. The clerical duties are performed by the curate of the neighbouring parish of Dunurlin.
In the R.C. divisions this parish forms part of the union or district of Dingle, and has a chapel in the village of Ventry.
About 30 children are educated in a private school.
Ventry gives the title of Baron to the family of Mullins."
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]


Note: The Civil Parish of Ventry ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced. Ventry DED included the whole of the Civil Parish as well as the two townlands of Glenfahan and fahan which formed a detached portion of the Parish of Ballinvoher.

Census Substitutes

Names of Heads of Households in Ventry Parish extracted from Griffiths' Valuation 1852, transcribed by John Hayes.
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Church History

In the Church of Ireland Ventry parish was united with Dingle in 1900. Previously in the 19th century it appears to have been united for a time with Kildrum and Dunurlin parishes. The ancient parish church once stood in the burial ground adjacent to the strand.
John O'Donovan, writing in 1841, stated:
" The old church in Ventry is situated on the strand of Ventry Fionntráigh towards the extremity. it is not an old edifice though now in a state of great dilipidation...
There are many skulls scattered about in the strand some of which have the jaws and teeth in excellent preservation."
There are now no visible remains of the ancient church. A new Church of Ireland church was built later in the 19th Century near the village centre in the townland of Cloghane. This in turn was abandoned and only the foundations of the structure remain.

In the Roman Catholic church Ventry was part of Dingle parish by 1825. A new chapel was constructed in Ventry dedicated to St. Kathleen (Naomh Cáitlín), the present building dating from 1881.

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Church Records

The Church of Ireland parish registers do not survive.

The registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Dingle cover baptisms from 1825, and marriages from 1821.
The registers remain in the custody of the parish priest, although microfilm copies are at the National Library of Ireland. Written permission from the Bishop of Kerry is required to view these records.

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Civil Registration

From 1863 Dingle was part of the Ventry Registration District, and the Registrar's District of Dingle. See the Registration Districts page.
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Description and Travel

A Description of the Ventry area extracted from The Dingle Peninsula by Steve McDonagh, on the site of Dingle Peninsula Tourism.


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[Last updated 17-Apr-2005 03:32 PM, by Laurence Jones. ©2000]