Heritage Hot Spots
Áras an Uachtaráin
What is it?
Áras an Uachtaráin, in Phoenix Park in Dublin, is the President’s official home. Originally a modest house built in 1751 for the park ranger, it became the occasional residence of the viceroys of Ireland (who oversaw British rule from Dublin Castle) from 1782 until 1922. It was then home to the governors general of the Free State until it became the residence of the first president of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, in 1938.
It’s a treat to walk through the grand entrance hall, along the Francini corridor, and into the state reception rooms, the Council of State room and the President’s study. The house has been refurbished on several occasions, with the addition of the east wing in 1849 and the west wing in 1911. The gardens (which are open to visitors each summer) were added in the 1840s.
It’s a quieter time of year, so you’re more likely to get in on the day – entry is first-come, first-served. Free guided tours are on Saturdays at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm.
How do I get there?
Phoenix Park is on the western edge of Dublin city centre. Entry to Áras an Uachtaráin is via Phoenix Park Visitors’ Centre, at Ashtown Castle (itself a popular place to visit). Tours are limited to 24 people each; group and advance bookings are not possible, and call the day before, to ensure tours haven’t been cancelled because of State business. Call 01-6770095 or see president.iefor details of State engagements.