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Irish National Parliament Building, Dublin, Ireland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 53° 20.448 W 006° 15.323
29U E 682718 N 5913694
Quick Description: Leinster House is the former ducal residence in Dublin of the Duke of Leinster, that has served since 1922 as the parliament building of the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland.
Location: Ireland
Date Posted: 10/31/2006 8:23:52 AM
Waymark Code: WMWZD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SCOTUS
Views: 239

Long Description:
It served as the headquarters of the Royal Dublin Society until 1922. The society's famous Dublin Spring Show and Dublin Horse Show were held on its Leinster Lawn, facing Merrion Square.

Ireland's parliament over the centuries had met in a number of locations, most notably in College Green, next to Trinity College Dublin.

From the late eighteenth century Leinster House (then called Cill Dara House) was the Earl of Kildare's official Dublin residence. When it was first built in 1745-8, it was located on the unfashionable and isolated south side of the city, far from the main locations of aristocratic residences, namely Rutland (now Parnell) Square and Mountjoy Square. The Earl predicted that others would follow; in succeeding decades Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square became the primary location of residences of the aristocracy, with many of their northside residences being sold. (They ended up as slums.) In the history of aristocratic residences in Dublin, no other mansion matched Kildare House for its sheer size or status. When the Earl was made the first Duke of Leinster, the family's Dublin residence was renamed Leinster House. Its first and second floors - what Americans call second and third floors - were used as the floor model for the White House by its Irish architect, while the house itself was used as a model for the original stone-cut White House exterior.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 provided for the creation of a self-governing Irish dominion, to be called the Irish Free State. As plans were made to bring the new state into being, the Provisional Government under W.T. Cosgrave sought a temporary venue for the meetings of the new Chamber of Deputies Dáil Éireann and Senate Seanad Éireann. Plans were made to turn the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, an eighteenth century former soldiers' home in extensive parklands, into a full-time Parliament House. However as it was still under the control of the British Army, who had yet to withdraw from it, and the new Governor-General of the Irish Free State was due to deliver the Speech from the Throne opening parliament within weeks, it was decided to hire the main RDS Lecture Theatre attached to Leinster House for use in December 1922 as a temporary Dáil chamber.

In 1924, due to financial constraints, plans to turn the Royal Hospital into a parliament house were abandoned; Leinster House instead was bought, pending the provision of a proper parliament house at some stage in the future. A new Senate or Seanad (pronounced 'shan-od') chamber was created in Duke's old ballroom, while wings from the neighbouring Royal College of Science were taken over as used as Government Buildings. While plans were often made to provide a brand new parliament house (sites considered included the Phoenix Park and the Custom House), parliament has remained permanently located in Leinster House.

Since then, a number of extensions have been added, most recently in 2000, to provide adequate office space for 166 TDs, 60 senators, members of the press and other staff. Among the world leaders who have visited Leinster House to address joint sessions of the Oireachtas are US Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and French President François Mitterrand.

Type of Capitol: National

Leinster House
Dublin 2, Ireland

Dates of Construction: 1748

Hours: By Appointment

Capitol Web Site: [Web Link]

Major Renovations: Not listed

Historical Monuments/Memorials: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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