In 1870, the redundant wooden Transatlantic Terminus building at Foilhammerum, Valentia, was presented to the people of Valentia Island to be used as a hospital. The building was dismantled and re-erected at Knightstown on a site provided by Sir Peter Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry.

Since then, Valentia Island Cottage Hospital has provided 143 years of unbroken service and care to not only the people of Valentia, but also the greater Iveragh area and seafarers using Valentia harbour.

Until the building of the bridge connecting the island to mainland Kerry in 1970, a full range of medical and surgical services were provided. The hospital today has continued to adapt and meet the changing needs and demands of our community providing long stay care for up to 20 residents. Originally in the trusteeship of local Catholic and Church of Ireland clergy, assisted by a local committee, the hospital was supported by donations and local fundraising.

Today the hospital is administered by Valentia Community Health & Welfare Association Ltd.  A not-for-profit association with charitable status. The association has open membership and its voluntary Board of Directors are elected by the membership annually at its AGM.