Áras an Uachtaráin had a colourful history before becoming the Official Residence of the President of Ireland. Built in 1751 Situated in the 1,752 acres of the Phoenix Park near Dublin, the original house was built by Park Ranger Nathaniel Clements. By 1782 it had been acquired for use by the Viceroys who oversaw British rule in Ireland. Clements received £25,000 for the house.
The house continued as the official residence of the Viceroys until 1922. For much of the period of Home Rule that followed it was the residence of the Governors General, the Crown’s representatives during the new dispensation. In 1938 it became the Official Residence of the President of Ireland and has been used for that purpose since.
Developments to House
There have been many improvements and additions to the house over the years, the most noteworthy being:
Establishment of formal gardens by Decimus Burton in the 1840s
Addition of the East Wing in 1849 for the state visit of Queen Victoria
Installation of Dublin mains gas supply in 1852 and electricity in 1908
Extension of the West Wing for the visit of George V in 1911
Aras an Uachtaráin is now the official residence of the President of Ireland. The house is open to the public each Saturday and 5 200 people visit the formal rooms and view the grounds each year. In addition to official guests at the many state functions hosted by the President, more than 11,000 visit the house by invitation each year.