Áras an Uachtaráin

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Áras an Uachtaráin[1] (Irish pronunciation: [ˈɑːrəs ən ˈuəxt̪ərɑːnʲ]), formerly the Viceregal Lodge, is the official residence of the President of Ireland. It is located in the Phoenix Park on the northside of Dublin.

Contents

Origins

The original house was designed by park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements in the mid eighteenth century. It was bought by the administration of the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to become his summer residence in the 1780s. His official residence was in the Viceregal Apartments in Dublin Castle. The house in the park later became the Viceregal Lodge, the "out of season" residence of the Lord Lieutenant (also known as the Viceroy), where he lived for most of the year from the 1820s onwards. During the Social Season (January to St. Patrick's Day in March) he lived in state in Dublin Castle.

(Another former summer residence, Abbeville in Kinsealy, North Dublin, later became well known as the home of Charles Haughey.)

Phoenix Park once contained three official state residences. The Viceregal Lodge, the Chief Secretary's lodge and the Under Secretary's Lodge. The Chief Secretary's Lodge, now called Deerfield, is the residence of the United States Ambassador to Ireland. The Under Secretary's Lodge, now demolished, served for many years as the Apostolic Nunciature.

Some historians have claimed that the garden front portico of Áras an Uachtaráin (which can be seen by the public from the main road through the Phoenix Park) was used as a model by Irish architect James Hoban who designed the White House. However the porticoes were not part of Hoban's original design and were in fact a later addition by Benjamin Latrobe.

Murder

In 1882, its grounds became the location for a famous murder. The Chief Secretary for Ireland (the British Cabinet minister with responsibility for Irish affairs), Lord Frederick Cavendish, and the Undersecretary (chief civil servant), T.H. Burke, were stabbed to death with surgical knives while walking back to the residence from Dublin Castle. A small insurgent group called the Invincibles was responsible for the deed. The Lord Lieutenant, the 5th Earl Spencer, heard their[clarification needed] screams from a ground floor window in the drawing room.[citation needed]

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