Deerfield Residence

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For the Chancery, see Embassy of the United States in Dublin
Deerfield Residence
Flag of the Ambassador of the United States of America
Flag of the Ambassador of the United States of America
Former names Chief Secretary's Lodge
General information
Architectural style Victorian
Location Chesterfield Avenue,
Phoenix Park,
Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates 53°21′29.5″N 6°19′59.3″W / 53.358194°N 6.333139°W / 53.358194; -6.333139
Current tenants United States Ambassador to Ireland (since 1927)
Construction started 1774
Completed 1776
Owner United States government (since 2013)
Website
U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Dublin
The Deerfield Residence during Fourth of July celebrations
Entrance to the U.S. Ambassador's Residence, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8

The Deerfield Residence (formerly the Chief Secretary's Lodge) is the official residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland.

The premises has been the Ambassador's Official Residence since 1927, and was until 1964 the Embassy of the United States of America in Ireland. Deerfield Residence is a large 18th-century building, sitting on 62 acres (250,000 m²) of private grounds in the centre of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. It sits across from the official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin.[1]

The position of United States Ambassador to Ireland is currently vacant. Dan Rooney, the most recent ambassador, resigned in December 2012. Stuart Dwyer is the Chargé d'affaires as of September 2013.[2]

History[edit]

Chief Secretary's Lodge[edit]

The residence was originally built by Sir John Blaquiere, 1st Baron de Blaquiere, then Chief Secretary for Ireland, and taken over to become the Chief Secretary's Dublin residence in the late 18th century. Until the abolition of the post in 1922 it served as the official residence in Dublin of the Chief Secretary, the second-in-command in the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland's administration. The Chief Secretary played a role akin to a Prime Minister in the administration. Winston Churchill - later to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom - spent some of his childhood living in the Phoenix Park. Following the establishment of the Irish Free State, a number of possible uses for the empty residences in the Phoenix Park were considered, from sale or demolition to turning the Chief Secretary's Lodge into a residence for the President of the Executive Council (Prime Minister).[3] In the mid-1920s plans were made to move the Governor-General of the Irish Free State, Timothy Michael Healy, from his large and costly Viceregal Lodge (now Áras an Uachtaráin) official residence to the smaller Chief Secretary's Lodge across the road.[4] Healy however expressed a wish that, if he was to move at all, it should be to his private home in Chapelizod. Believing that Healy's home was too exposed and a security risk, the Executive Council of the Irish Free State (cabinet) chose to leave Healy in the Viceregal Lodge. Instead the Chief Secretary's Lodge was rented on a ten-year lease to the United States government, to become a combined ambassador's residence and embassy, on February 19, 1927.

In January 1938, with the American lease nearly up, the Irish Government decided to make the Chief Secretary's Lodge the official residence of the President of Ireland.[5] The decision was rescinded when a report from the Office of Public Works (OPW) advised the Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera that the building was structurally unsound and would need expensive remedial work of the sort that could not be completed in time for the planned presidential entry into office in June.[6] The President was later installed in the vacant Viceregal Lodge nearby. The building was re-rented to the United States government. The embassy was later moved to a purpose-built building in Ballsbridge (Embassy of the United States in Dublin), leaving the lodge as the Ambassador's residence.

U.S. Ambassador's Residence[edit]

Extensive renovations to the house and property were made by the U.S. Government in 1952. In the 1970s, the grounds were christened the name Deerfield by the wife of a United States ambassador on account of the number of deer who roam in the open parkland around the mansion (Phoenix Park). The property consists of 62 acres of lawn, orchards and gardens on which are located the Ambassador's residence, three cottages and a security building at the front gate. The lower ground floor of the residence comprises a ballroom, reception and dining room, library, office, kitchens pantry, staff room and laundry. Six suites, bedroom, bathroom and dressing room, plus a sitting room are located on the upper floor. Outdoor amenities include a seasonal American football field, basketball court and tennis court.[7]

It has been previously suggested that the building should become the residence of the Taoiseach. In 2005, the idea of turning the Chief Secretary's Lodge into a Taoiseach's residence was abandoned when the Office of Public Works instead applied for planning permission to turn the former ranger's residence (Steward's Lodge) in the grounds of the state guest palace, Farmleigh, into a small Taoiseach's residence instead. On April 5, 2013 the Irish government sold Deerfield House along with an acre the lodge sits on in Phoenix Park to the United States Government permanently, with the remaining 61 acres still owned by the Irish government. The grounds are operated by the United States Department of State.

U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton have all stayed at Deerfield during Irish visits. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Barack Obama stayed elsewhere for security reasons, due to the vastness of the property. Security at the grounds are provided externally by the Special Detective Unit (SDU), a counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence branch of the Garda Síochána (Irish national police), and internally by the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.[8]

Notable residents[edit]

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


United States of America

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Ambassador's residence". Embassy of the United States: Dublin - Ireland. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  2. ^ "Chief of Mission, Chargé d'affaires of the U.S. Embassy Dublin". 5 September 2013. U.S. State Department. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Dáil Éireann, Vol 8 Col 68 Committee on Finance 27 June 1924
  4. ^ Committee on Finance. Governor-General's Establishment. 11 June 1926
  5. ^ Report of President Clinton's visit to Ireland
  6. ^ National Archives of Ireland.
  7. ^ "U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Dublin". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Cusack, Jim (24 November 2012). "Exposed: US embassy is top terror risk". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°21′29.5″N 6°19′59.3″W / 53.358194°N 6.333139°W / 53.358194; -6.333139