There’s plenty to see and do in Phoenix Park, but today our focus is on Áras an Uachtaráin, home of the Irish president. To discover some interesting historical facts about the presidents’ home in Ireland, just keep on reading!

  • We’re kicking things off with a fact about the name itself. Áras an Uachtaráin translates from Irish to the official home/residence of the president. For a time, it was also known by another name – the Viceregal Lodge.
  • Constructed in the mid-eighteenth century, the house was originally designed by architect and park ranger Nathaniel Clements in 1751.
  • There have been numerous additions to the building over the years: the formal gardens in 1840, the East Wing for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1849, a gas supply installation in 1852 and electricity in 1908.
  • In 1911, the house went under construction once more. It received a large extension to the West Wing in preparation for the visit of Queen Mary and George V.
  • With the abolishment of the office of Lord Lieutenant in 1922, the building then became then home of Governor General Tim Healy until 1932. From 1937 onwards, the office of the President of Ireland was created.
  • Eamon de Valera previously suggested demolishing the building and constructing a new one. We’re thankful that that didn’t go to plan, as even in 2020 Áras an Uachtaráin is quite the sight to behold!
  • With its garden front portico, white columns, neoclassical design and clean white hue, the construction of Áras an Uachtaráin is said to have inspired the design of the White House in Washington D.C., the presidential residence in the United States.
  • In 1938, Douglas Hyde became the first president to take resident at Áras an Uachtaráin.
  • It has since been home to all of our past presidents: Sean T. O’Kelly, Eamon de Valera, Erskine Childers, Cearbhail O Dalaigh, Patrick Hillery, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese and of course, our current president Michael D. Higgins.
  • Having trouble spotting Áras an Uachtaráin? Here’s a tip – it’s visible from the North Road entrance or Chesterfield Avenue in Phoenix Park!

For more, check out our Eat, See and Do pages, as well as the Clancy Quay website!