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Great Southern Killarney

History: 
    Great Southern Killarney
 in Killarney

History

The Great Southern Killarney has been a focal point of the historic town of Killarney since opening in 1854. After the grand opening of the first railway line from Dublin to Killarney, the Great Southern and Western Railway Company wanted to build a “Grand Hotel” outside of Dublin. The company considered many regions, but ultimately chose Killarney to be the location of their magnificent project. The company requested 40 acres of land at the railhead to build a station and a hotel, however, the desired land was already owned by Lord Kenmare, who owned thousands of acres stretching from Killarney to Kenmare. Lord Kenmare is said to have been hesitant about giving the land over to the company, especially because it magnificent personal garden. The two parties eventually came to an agreement with the stipulation that the Great Southern and Western Railway Company would give Lord Kenmare’s family free rail travel whenever they wished and would also hold the train’s departure should the The Brownes (Lord Kenmare’s family) be delayed in getting to the station. In return, Lord Kenmare agreed to give the rail company ownership of the 40 acres of land by the railhead.

Now that the rail company had the land for their project, they held a competition to pick an architect to design the hotel. However, for reasons that remain unknown, the hotel was eventually designed by Mr. Frederick Darley, who was not the winner of the competition. Darley was, however, an esteemed architect in his own right, as he was the official architect to Trinity College and had also designed Merchant’s Hall in Dublin, the Kings Inn Library and a Magnetic Observatory at Trinity. Darley’s vision for the new hotel was to build something that would “take the visitor’s breath away”.

The hotel officially opened to much acclaim in 1854 as The Railway Hotel, Killarney. The hotel has attracted many tourists since opening and was further launched as a tourist destination when Queen Victoria visited in 1861. The hotel beholds a rich history and has endured many years of war and strife. In fact, The Great Southern Killarney was once used as a prison during World War I from 1919 to 1922 and the original prison bars are still on the windows in the basement of the hotel.

The Great Southern Killarney, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2019, dates back to 1854.


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International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
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