Áras an Uachtaráin, County Dublin
Áras an Uachtaráin had a colourful history before becoming the Official Residence of the President of Ireland. Built in 1751 and situated in the 1,752 acres (709 hectares) 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.
The Entrance Hall dates back to 1751 when Nathaniel Clements rebuilt the Park Ranger’s house, and its magnificent coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling dates from this time. The ceiling coffers contain plaster busts, trophies and other objects associated with the house, including a bust of Charles II, the monarch who developed the Phoenix Park. The hall also contains a visitor’s book which has been signed by all the notable visitors to the Áras.
On 11 November 2011, Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland. A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at almost every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland's first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
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. There is free admission tickets issued at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Ashtown Castle on the day. Group and/or advance booking is not possible. Tour of gardens included from June to September, weather permitting. The Guided Tours Meeting Point is the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Ashtown Castle, in the Phoenix Park.
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