The Development of Modern Killiney
We are fortunate to have been given a copy of an unpublished history of Killiney called “Killiney Surroundings”. This work consists of a collection of essays and notes compiled over a period of forty years by the bookseller William Fernsley Figgis, a native of Killiney. It appears that Figgis began to compile the history sometime around 1916 and continued to work on it until his death in 1956. It is unique in that it recounts eye witness reminiscences of people and events from the formative period of Killiney as we know it today. The earliest history dating back from the establishment of the Church of the daughters of Lenin in the 6th century is recorded in detail. A number of contributors are named and include R. Lloyd Praeger (Irish naturalist, writer and librarian 1865-1953), Charles McNeill (editor of Archisbishop Alen’s Register), Bishop Day and Miss Rambaut of Templeville.
W.F. Figgis (1874-1956) lived in Desmond (now Padua) on Killiney Hill Road from c.1940-1952 and previously in “The Whins” now “The Rocks” on Glenalua Road. He was a bookseller and remained in the renowned Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin for over 60 years until his death in 1956.
With thanks to Anne Peters & David Millar for providing us with this invaluable document.
The section of the document which we reproduce here covers the period from about 1830 to 1956. The text has not been attributed to a guest contributor so we assume that this was written by Figgis himself. What was deemed ‘Modern’ seventy or so years ago must be seen in the context of that time. Supporting illustrations have been added by Killineyhistory.ie.
Modern Killiney Part 1
The military preparations to combat foreign invasion and the internal tumults that has blighted the end of the 16th century and early years of the 19th century had passed. Parliament no longer assembled in College Green. After about a quarter of a century’s recovery the outlook of many in Dublin underwent a change. The growing tendency to possess summer residences by the seaside became noticeable. All round the embryo harbour at Kingstown building was in active progress. At Merrion, Blackrock and Dunleary imposing mansions were already much in vogue.
A sympathetic contributor to the Irish Penny Journal writes:- “It does not indeed require a very great age for any of us Dubliners to remember when the country along the Southern shore of our beautiful bay from Dunleary to the land’s end at Dalkey Common presented a nearly uniform character of wildness and solitude – heath grounds broken only by masses of granite rocks, and tufts of blossomy furze without culture, and, except in the walled villages of Bullock and Dalkey, almost uninhabited”…
Later with somewhat saddened reflections: – “To these natural features should be added those of the rocky ironbound coast, commanding from its cliffs the most delightful views of Killiney Bay, the Sound, the island of Dalkey and the Bay of Dublin. These latter features still remain and can never change; but of all the others which we have noticed what is there left? Scarcely a vestige that would remind the spectator of what the locality had been. The rocks have been nearly all removed, or converted into building materials for an assemblage of houses of all kinds of fantastic construction surrounded for the most part by high and unsightly stone walls.”
In Killiney district this movement was at first limited to small villas. But the coming of the railway gave the true impetus for the expansion of house building all along the coast and Killiney immediately responded. Killiney Bay, which had appeared to Lord Carhampton to be the danger spot for invasion, now presented itself to Dublin citizens as affording a wonderful opportunity for a building enterprise on a gigantic scale; a kind of Athenian Acropolis, to be called Queenstown. The Irish Penny Journal (June 1841) contains an interesting prospectus of this scheme, which was, in fact, never realised, but was much in the public mind at the time. “Our metropolitan readers, at least, and many others besides, are aware of the magnificent but not easily to be realised project recently propounded, of erecting a town on the east side of Malpas’s or Killiney Hill – a situation certainly of unrivalled beauty and grandeur. Plans, most satisfactory, and views prospective as well as perspective of this as yet non-existent Brighton or Clifton, have been laid before the public, with a view to obtain the necessary way and means to give it a more substantial reality; but alas! for the uncertainty of human wishes! Queenstown, despite the popularity of our sovereign, is not likely for some time at least, to present a rivalry, in anything but its romantic and commanding site, to the busy bustling and not very symmetrically built town which has been erected in honour of her august eldest uncle. The good people of Kingstown may therefore rejoice; their glory will not for some time at least be eclipsed; and the lovers of natural romantic scenery who have not money -they seldom have- to employ in promising speculations, may also rejoice, for the wild and precipitous cliffs of Killiney are likely to retain for some years longer a portion of their romantic beauty; the rocks will not be shaped into well dressed forms of prim gentility; the purple heather and furze, “unprofitably gay”, may give nature’s brilliant colouring to the scenery, and the wild see birds may sport around; the time has not arrived when they will be destroyed or banished from this ancient haunt by the encroachment of man.
But however this may be, the first stone of the new town has been laid; nay, the first building – no less a building than Victoria Castle – has been actually erected.
The Directory for 1855 mentions Queenstown Cottage, Lower Queenstown, Queenstown Baths, Queenstown Castle.
A refreshing exercise of the imagination can summon to the mind’s eye a picture of Killiney as it was in say 1830. The old Hill was there with its obelisk conspicuous for miles on all sides; its slopes were a little greener, a little wilder and still free from public park restrictions. The Semaphore Station stood out prominently. Dalkey lay hidden beneath the crest of the hill. Kingstown with its new harbour and the more ancient Dunleary were there though but dwarf compared with what they are today. Two other features would be noticeable; the “Rail Road” from the Dalkey Quarries to the pier at Kingstown, over which the granite block: were being conveyed for the harbour construction, and the remains of the old Lead Mines on the coast. Towards the south we can see Killiney’s few isolated houses, in the distance Old Conna House, and Bray with its old church, some larger houses and its pigmy cottages, the whole terminating in Bray Head which with its pristine green and purple and gold and without any unsightly buildings must have been much more beautiful then than now. Descending from Killiney Hill we can picture an extension of the wild patches of gorse and heather which we see today, shrubs and dwarf trees fringing the cliffs. It would have been a pleasant and exhilarating walk with fresh breezes from open country and occasional whiffs of ozone from the sea; no ugly walls that now jealously guard all view of the sea from the high road all the way from Dalkey to Ballybrack except for one brief stretch at Killiney Village where for a couple of hundred yards indignant nature demands a viewpoint and presents a wonderful vista of the bay. Walking down the hill we meet a small cluster of houses on the right and left of the road, the beginnings of the present Killiney Village. Further down the Druidical remains lie on our right and the Duke of Dorset monument. On our left stands the Martello Tower, below this fields until we come to the road leading to the ancient church, in ruins. Here is another cluster of cottages and beyond this we come to the Military Road to the sea, and then fields and farms reaching down to Hacketsland and Shanganagh.
One by one houses began to appear all along the route of our imaginary stroll. Each with its own boundary wall some 6′ , some 10′ high, thus selfishly enclosing its own particular little paradise and gradually excluding the wayfaring pedestrian from any share in the natural beauty of the landscape.
An important factor in the character of our prospect in 1830 is the absence of the trees and groves which have since been planted and have grown in such profusion all over the district. The older estates had already their tree plantations, but the smaller landowners who were shortly to appear and rapidly people Killiney, each planted his own trees and what we are accustomed to regard as an integral part of the landscape is in a large measure but the product of the last 100 years.
So much then for our efforts to visualise Killiney as it was 120-130 years ago. Let us now give some account of the rise and development of modern Killiney with some approximation to the order and dates in which the various houses were built. The sources on which we have to depend for our information are, for the most part, old maps and directories. These afford valuable help, but cannot be regarded as complete or as being entirely reliable. It is hoped that present owners may supplement these records and be sufficiently interested to contribute their information towards accumulating material for a more adequate history of the neighbourhood.
In Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary 1837 we read: “The Hills of Killiney are visited by many parties of pleasure in summer, at which season Killiney and its vicinity are favourite places of residence and several pretty villas and rustic cottages have been erected for such as may take up their abode there.” From the same source we find that the following houses had then been built, (1837) and the occupants at that date are also given. Loftus Hill, Mr. Henry; Loughlinstown House, Hon. Judge Day; Ballinclea, Hon. Mrs. Mellifont; Killiney Park, Sir N.Brady; Saintbury, Capt. Stritch; Kilmarnock, Lt. Baker; Ballybrack Grove, Japhet Alley; Killiney House, Capt. Gaynor; Marino, Mrs. King; Martello Farm, T. Oxley; Druid Cottage, Mrs. Patton.
The Ordnance Survey of the same year gives the following additional houses, Sarah Ville, Rockfield, Ballybrack Lodge, Obelisk Cottage, Victoria Lodge, Wyattville, Rainford, Edenville, Firgrove, Martello House, Martello Cottage, Albany Cottage, Victoria Castle, Mount Eagle (Mt. Mapas Villa) Mount Mapas (Cottage), Plasnewydd, Glenfield, Woodbine Cottage, Ivy Cottage, St. Helens, Derrynane Lodge, Wilmount, Druid Lodge, Percy Lodge, Dorset Lodge, Rose Cottages, Saintville, Templeville, Desmond and Rosetta. Practically all these houses had sprung up since 1821. There are indications, however, that earlier farm buildings occupied the sites of some of them, (Percy Lodge, Templeville and others). It is also a fair conjecture that there had been groups of fisher folk cottages nestling in the bay from time immemorial.
It may seem strange that the church which was built in 1835 to meet the needs of this growing community was not erected in a more central position, for many of these early houses were, as might have been expected. built overlooking the sea. There was indeed a good reason for this somewhat remote situation of the church in the fact that the site was given by Sir Compton Domville. No convenient road connected upper Killiney with the Church but no doubt the congregation enjoyed the pleasant Sunday morning walk across the intervening fields, possibly by the old and still used right of way over what is now the Golf Links.
On Rochestown Avenue, Flowergrove, Stoneville and Granitefield had already been built, and the road from Blackrock joined the Ballinclea Road from Dalkey (0.S. 1837 revised 1845). In the year 1848 Harrow School was maintained by Davis Tate who had brought his school down from Camden Street. Of the names or number of his scholars we have no record. A few years later the school was transferred to Rockfield but it apparently did not continue for long.
In 1849 (Frasers Handbook) we read of Kilbogget as “the highly imposing residence of William Sherrard Esq. whose well managed farm forms a striking contrast with the wretched culture around” but the farm was of much older date.
By 1850 the following had been built: – Ballybrack House, Ridge Hall, Edwardville, Anneville, Wellington House, The Grove, Eagle Lodge, Belair, Laurelville, Poverty Hall, Kilmore, Fortal. Also the first part of Shanganagh Terrace and Mountain View.
A gap of 16 years brings us to 1866. The R.C. Church, dedicated to SS Alphonsus and Columba had been opened in 1856 and Holy Trinity in 1858. Many houses had sprung up in the interval; Clarinda, Ashurst, Rathleigh, Salerno, Vevay, Tudor Lodge, Stonehurst, Larkfield, Cloonevin, Streamville, Avonmore, Miramar, St. Aubyn’s, Clonlost, Fortlands, Undercliff, Illerton, Marino Lodge, Montbello, Buona Vista, St. Anne’s, Fernside, Palermo, Greenhill, Mount Auburn, Hillside, Hendre, Abbeylands, Southill, Secrora, Wyvern, Temple Hill.
By this time too, many familiar names appear that still linger in Killiney memories. The Chaytors, the Symes, the Hones, the Cockburns, the Dobbs, the Du Bedats, the Deanes, the Exhams, the Ball Greenes, the Jebbs, to mention but a few.
The 1871 revision of the O.S. records but few additions to the houses we have already mentioned. Clonkieve was added to Cloonevin forming the present Gayfield and Eyrefield respectively and not to be confused with Cloneevin on Killiney Avenue. Strathmore, Villa France, Santa Severina, Bella Vista, Cedar Lodge, Marine Terrace, Gortmore had been built, Shanganagh Terrace completed and many shops and small houses, including the R.I.C. barracks on Wyattville Road, had all made their appearance.
After a fresh interval of 20 years (to 1906) there were comparatively few new houses to record, Eirene, Dunmara, Carraig na Mara, Vartry Lodge, Lismara, Otago, Murray Hill, Kenah Hill, The Peak, Mon Abri, Ard Einin, The Retreat, Killeen, St. Maurice, the Bungalow, Winterslow, St. Leonards, and then there was little building activity for the next 24 years which brings us up to 1930, when a general wave of housing enterprise became epidemic, Killiney did not fail to catch the infection. New houses and bungalows rapidly appeared in both Killiney and Ballybrack and in 1940 we would have probably but have reached an early stage in this movement had not the approach and outbreak of War imposed at least a temporary suspension.
No doubt some houses have been accidently omitted in this survey; it is neither as complete nor as accurate as one would wish, but it may serve as a general indication of how Killiney came into being.
Modern Killiney Part 2
It would be tedious even if it were possible to give a full account of the building and the occupants of all the houses in the foregoing summary but it may be of some interest to trace a few of those who seem to indicate something of the regional development of modern Killiney.
In the 0.S. of 1837 we find 3 houses marked below Loftus Hill, viz. Victoria Castle (unnamed) Mount Mapas Villa, as Mt. Eagle was originally named and Mt. Mapas Cottage. Whether these were built by Robert Warren of Killiney Hill or taken over by him does not appear, but all three are entered in his name in the early directories. In 1855 Robert Warren Jr. was the occupant of Victoria Castle, in 1868 Lord Southwell. In 1876 it came into possession of Dr. Humphrey Lloyd, Provost of T.C.D. and it remained in his family until the disastrous fire of 1926. In old prints of Killiney the 2 houses Mt. Eagle and Mt. Mapas look as if precariously perched upon steep cliffs overhanging the sea. That the railway engineers contrived to cut their rocky embankment between these houses and the sea was no mean achievement. In 1886, Mt. Eagle was occupied by Graves C. Colles and in 1896 by Morrogh O’Brien whose son Col. Eoghan O’Brien is the present owner. Mount Mapas was in 1876 in the hands of William Colles M.D., in 1886 of Morrogh O’Brien and up to the time of his death of Caesar Litton Falkiner, son of Sir Frederick Falkiner, Recorder of Dublin. In August 1908 he met with a tragic death in the Swiss Alps… He had been married to the only daughter of Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, another Killiney resident (Dorset Lodge). His comparatively early death at the age of 45 removed an indefatigable delver into Irish historical annals, whose published literary remains are both interesting and valuable. Not very long after Mt. Mapas was for a time the home of the Rev. Geo. Hannay better known as Geo. Birmingham the novelist. As has been seen by 1837 there were already several houses on the western or inland side of Killiney Hill Road. On the sea side Saintbury, Saintville, Desmond, Marino and Kilmarnock were the first to be built. In 1850 there were 33 houses in Killiney Village and the population was 204. On the Dublin side of the hill Bellevue Park was owned by Alexander Boyle a Dublin Banker.
Saintbury was in possession of Capt. Luke Allen; Saintville, Mrs. Sheridan; Killiney House, Capt. Gaynor; The Grove, Joseph Hines; In the grounds of the Grove were also Monreale and Merton Lodge, with the same proprietor; Templeville, Rev. Chas. Sleator; Druid Lodge, William O’Hara; Killiney Park, Capt. Copeland; Desmond, Major FitzGerald; Percy Lodge, Thos. Farrell; Marino, Joshua Chaytor. Before 1849 Joshua Chaytor came to reside at Marino he had purchased a large property in Killiney of over 40 acres which he bequeathed to his son Charles H. Chaytor who came to occupy Marino about the year 1857. He rebuilt the house and lived in it for many years. He also built San Severina as Summer Hill was first called, Campaville (Campanella) and other houses in the vicinity. His property included a large surrounding area and was known as Marino Park. The Ancient Church and Churchyard were also on his property and he took considerable pains to have the latter closed as overcrowded and unsafe for further burials. This naturally aroused some opposition.
Crossing the Military Road from Marino Park we find that in 1837 there was only one considerable house between the crossroads and the sea, viz. Kilmarnock which was held by Lt. John Robert Baker R.N. who had come to Killiney in 1832. There was also an old farm, Martello Farm, belonging to Thos. Oxley, and where later (Kildimo) Killacoona was built. In the grounds of the present Ashurst was a small house, the ruins of which are still visible.
Ashurst was so called from a very large tree opposite its front door, which became dangerous and was cut down. In 1893. This older Ashurst had a number of small bedrooms, a large dining room with the same sized drawing room above. William Cary Dobbs, a barrister, and afterwards Judge of the Landed Estates Court was accustomed to come down here from his residence in 21 Fitzwilliam Place for the summer months. About the year 1855 he decided to purchase outright the whole property with 2 acres of land. On these lands he built the present Ashurst, the architect being John Lanym. The grounds also included a small cottage known as Martello Cottage not to be confused with Martello Farm already mentioned. The occupant of this cottage assured Mr. Dobbs that her whole happiness depended on her owning the house as she wished to live and die there. She was so insistent that at last he sold it to her with one acre of land but reserving the head rent which is still part of the Dobbs property. Within 18 months this lady had sold the place to Miss Exham who lived there for many years. Later Mr. Frank North purchased this cottage and turned it into the present Little Anstice.
About the year 1880 Judge Dobbs inherited a small property at Kildimo, Co. Limerick. He sold it and bought a six acre field which lay between Ashurst and the sea road. Upon this he built a small house of which Sir Thomas Deane was the architect. It was called Kildimo until Mr. Wrench of the Land Commission took a long lease of it, enlarged the house and called it Killacoona.
About the middle of the 19th century exotic names crept into Killiney, Santa Severina, Villa Franca, Vevay, Mentone, Miramar etc. By 1850 a fair number of the available building sites had been acquired, and new houses erected. Ideas about building have undergone much modification in the last 100 years, indeed the past 25 years. A hundred years ago an intending purchaser of a residence in Killiney would seek a parcel of ground of respectable size, not less than an acre, preferably a good deal more, within which he could build his property walls.
By 1868 the three enclosed houses Fernside, Robert Exham; Illerton, William Bewley; Greenhills Mrs. Huddleston had been built. Also Palermo, Joseph Hone; Southhill, H.W. Smith; Hillside, Thomas Mackie; St. Annes, W.G. Du Bedat; Buona Vista, Edward Courtenay; Dorset Lodge, Thos. Deane; Monte Bello, Daniel Connolly; Hendre, Thomas Roberts.
Edward Courtenay, Solicitor built Buona Vista in which he lived, and a little later Bellavista, 2 fine semi-detached houses, commanding a choice view of the bay. Both were burned down in 1942. For some time the site remained idle, but later the present Tower Hill was built where stood the ruins of the former houses, and a smaller house in a corner of the grounds.
With the exception of the very modern, all the houses on the Church Road were built before 1860 but nearly all had other names than those now in use.
Wyattville, Laurelville, Ballybrack Grove, Firgrove, Ballybrack House and Ridge Hall all dated before 1850. The last of these was for 2 generations in the Waldron family until that well known figure Larry (Larkey) Waldron M.P. transferred his domicile from Ridge Hall to Marino which he largely rebuilt in 1894.
St. Annes, W.G. Dubedat; Fortlands, George Armstrong; Rathleigh, Hugh Ferguson; Salerno, A.E. Sayers; Miramar, Miss Sinclair; Temple Hill, Geo. Williamson; Undercliff, Hon. Judge Berwick; Albany, Geo.Pilkington; St. Aubyn’s, Commander Aaron Symer; Avonmore, Wm.G. Murray; Cloneevin, Miss Lowry; were all built prior to 1866. Strathmore, William Henry was built about 1869.
Inveruisk, Hon. Frank Falkiner: Auchnacloy, Major Hewetson and the other houses on Seafield Road were not built until after 1880; Farm Lodge, Richard Patten 1867, and Cromlech, Mrs. Simmonds, 1896.
These dates must be taken as only approximate. The occupants may not, in all cases given, be the first, nor can they definitely be regarded as the original builders.
Modern Killiney Part 3
A few general facts and dates must now be given to round off this brief sketch of the growth of modern Killiney and neighbourhood. Kingstown Harbour in designs by Rennie was begun in 1816 and completed in 1859 at a cost of £825,000, and covering an area of 250 acres, was a big factor in focussing Dublin interest in the south side of the city. When the additional facilities of transport which the railway provided were realised the vast expansion of suburban residential dwellings rapidly succeeded. Professional and merchant citizens found the attractions of sea and country, still within easy distance of their work, a wonderful and pleasant change of habit and the exodus from town to seaside residence became very popular.
A few particulars concerning the Dublin Kingstown and Bray, later the Dublin Wicklow and Wexford Railway, may prove of interest.
The original Act of Parliament for the D. & K. Railway was 1 and 2 of William IV Cap LXIX (1831). The Railway was opened to traffic on 17th December 1834, and by the year 1841 upwards of 10,000,000 of passengers had been conveyed on it. “The line of railway extends from Westland Row in the City of Dublin to the New Wharf at Kingstown Harbour, (at first only to Salthill). Trains are despatched from each end of the railway every ½ hour from 6 a.m. in the Summer and 7 a.m. in Winter, until 11 p.m., stopping at Booterstown, Blackrock and Salthill. Extras on Sunday at ¼ before and ¼ after every hour from 12.30 to 6 p.m. from both ends of the line”. Fares, 1st Class 1/-; 2nd Class 8d; 3rd Class 6d. Returns at ½ price.
The Atmospheric Railway from Kingstown to Dalkey in conjunction with the above line started from Kingstown on the arrival of every Dublin train. Fares 2nd Class 2d; 3rd Class 1d. It was opened for traffic on 29th March 1844. “One of the titillating experiments of 1845 was the Atmospheric Railway, which came in for a great deal of both favourable and antagonistic comment – The principle was that of exhausting the air in a continuous tube between the tracks, to which the carriage was connected and by means of which vacuum it was carried along. It seemed to work for a time, and had great advantages of smoothness and safety. But it proved expensive and it was difficult maintain the vacuum.” (Dodd’s Age of Paradox 1953. For a full account of the At. Railway, see Joyce’s “Neighbourhood of Dublin” and Dublin Hist. Records Vol. V No. 3.)The titillating experiment lasted for 11 years until the extension of the railway to Bray was completed by 1854. It is interesting to notice in the Dublin Directory for 1855 mention of Atmospheric Cottage and to this day there is Atmospheric Road near Dalkey.
The Killiney Bray extension of the railway was opened on 17th July 1854. It was a single line up to 1879; the original station was at Ballybrack, but according to Morgan’s Irish Travellers Guide 1856 both Killiney and Ballybrack stations were then operating. The present railway station was not opened until 1882. Diversion from old coast line inland by Shanganagh 1915.
Killiney Hill was purchased from the Warren family for £5,000 by public subscription and was opened in 1887 by the Duke of Clarence, accompanied by his brother the Duke of York, afterwards George V. It was a glorious summer day; the Park was crowded so that the occasion was marked by a brilliant pageant. In commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Loftus Hill was renamed Victoria Park. This freedom of the hill has been a great boon to the citizens of Dublin, who delight to take advantage of its easy accessibility to the city and its perennial charm.
Killiney and Ballybrack with the village of Loughlinstown were formed into a Township in 1866. The total valuation of the township was £12,528. 5.0. The Urban District Council assumed sanitary duties, including water supply and the care of the roads. The first rate struck was 4d in the £. On the 1st October 1930 the Dun Laoghaire Borough incorporated the whole district. In 1903 a nine hole Golf Course was opened and has engaged a full share of popular favours.
Towards the close of the 19th century a single hardcourt tennis club was the scene of many first class games. The Chaytors, Jas. Pim, Ball Greene, all Killiney residents foregathered here. After the 1st World War another tennis club was started beside William’s Park on the Seafield Road. There were six grass courts of moderate merit. The club was never sufficiently opulent to ensure a competent groundsman with proper facilities for maintaining the condition of the courts at a very high level. Nevertheless the club constituted a useful social function and was appreciated by a considerable membership. It lingered on until the 2nd World War caused so many gaps that it was impossible to keep the club alive.
The National Schools in Killiney have been for over a century an outstanding feature of parochial life. At the consecration of the parish church in 1835 the special collection of £15.2.9. was “in aid of the New School House of Killiney.” This was situated in Killiney Village and was built in 1834. In 1879 it was decided to move the school to “The Hall Killiney” as being “more commodious and central.” This Hall was the property of Mr. W. Jennings Bramley and by a rent agreement with him 1881 for £20. p.a. became the new Killiney National School, for the children of both the Killiney Protestant parishes. The lease of the old schoolhouse was sold in 1882 to Mr. P.McKeever.
The commodious school within the grounds of the church of SS Alphonsus and Columba was one of the chief concerns of Canon John Harold during the brief period of his ministration as P.P. of Killiney (1863 – 68).
In 1870 the Vartry water supply was extended to Killiney, being piped from Rathmichael. It was one of the greatest benefits of modern times. Previously the community depended for the most part on wells and conserved rain water.
In 1931 the E.S.B. introduced their Shannon Lighting Scheme to our neighbourhood together with all the other amenities dependent upon electricity. Previously the Dublin Gas Co. had for long been operating in the Killiney district and their supply continues to be largely used for cooking and other purposes.