In 1873 the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased Killiney Castle to be used as a villa house (holiday). The events leading up to the purchase of this property were quite long and protracted. In a memorandum written by Fr William Delany SJ (1835-1924), 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 Nicolas Walsh SJ (1826-1914) Provincial, insisted, despite grave objections by some of the other priests, on telling the Cardinal (Paul Cullen).
This action proved to be a mistake with the Cardinal reacting negatively to the property deal (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.
It should be noted that the Society of Jesus had two residences in Killiney. In 1853 the Catalogue names the following as residing in Killiney; Robert St. Leger (1788-1856), John St. Leger (1798-1868), William Moloney (1796-1886) and James Reardon (1799-l.1856). This residence was known as Druid Lodge. The preceding Catalogue (1850) makes no mention of a Killiney residence and similarly the succeeding Catalogue (1855) does not refer to a residence in Killiney. It would appear that Druid Lodge was given up by the Society because the Archbishop opposed the construction of a church (CM/KILL/1). The second residence in Killiney was Killiney Castle (1873-1879), the papers of which are represented in this collection.
The papers of Killiney Castle, Dublin deal with the purchase of Killiney Castle by the Society of Jesus, accounts, changes to the exterior and interior, the letting of the Killiney Castle and the eventually sale of Killiney Castle by the Society of Jesus.