Steward's Lodge

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Steward's Lodge
Steward's Lodge W1 2011-03.jpg
View into Steward's Lodge grounds
General information
Location Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates 53°21′58″N 6°21′29″W / 53.36619°N 6.35802°W / 53.36619; -6.35802
Current tenants Taoiseach
Renovated 2006
Renovation cost €600,000
Owner Government of Ireland
Technical details
Floor count 2

The Steward's Lodge is a house which was originally part of the Farmleigh estate, alongside the Phoenix Park in Dublin. It is sometimes used as a residence by the Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Steward's Lodge was originally built in the grounds of Farmleigh house – an 18th-century estate which was formerly owned by members of the Guinness family.[citation needed] Originally accessible within the grounds of the estate, the lodge was subsequently separated from Farmleigh during later refurbishment works.[1]

Taoiseach's residence[edit]

There is no official residence of the Taoiseach, with each Taoiseach residing in either their own homes, or in an apartment in Dublin. In the 1970s, plans were made to turn the former Apostolic Nunciature (formerly the Under Secretary's Lodge) in the Phoenix Park into an official residence. However, the plans fell through and the Georgian building was subsequently demolished.[2]

In 2006, it was announced by the Office of Public Works that the Steward's Lodge had been renovated, at a cost of nearly €600,000.[3] It was speculated that the house would become the official private residence of the Taoiseach after the 2007 general election and any official engagements would be carried out in the nearby Farmleigh or Government Buildings.[4]

There was political sensitivity at government level about the project, with some concerned that it could be depicted as a lavish "perk" for the Taoiseach. In 2005, a spokeswoman for Bertie Ahern stated he had no interest in using it, and he remained resident in his private home in Drumcondra in Dublin.[4] In 2008, it was reported that Brian Cowen might use it as his official residence.[1] Media reports suggest that Garda concerns for the Taoiseach's security precluded him from continuing to reside in his own Dublin home in the city centre.[1] Cowen did not formally reside in the Steward's Lodge, preferring to return to his family home in County Offaly, but he did use it "from time to time".[5][6] In 2011, the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers reported that the current Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, would make use of the residence,[7][8][9] but there is no indication that he has used the Lodge over his private Dublin apartment or Castlebar residence.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Quinlan, Ronald (18 May 2008). "Opulent Phoenix Park lodge is set to become 'Fortress Cowen'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2008. 
  2. ^ "State Papers – Day One: Áras for Taoiseach project abandoned". Irish Examiner. 30 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Farmleigh lodge slept in for 7 nights since €600k revamp". Irish Examiner. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Farmleigh lodge planned as residence for future taoisigh". The Irish Times. 28 December 2005. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Cowen questioned on use of Farmleigh". The Irish Times. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  6. ^ O'Brien, Jason (25 July 2009). "Cowen stays at Farmleigh more often". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Enda to swap city for Farmleigh". Mail on Sunday. February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Farmleigh gets ready to welcome the Kennys". Sunday Mirror Newspaper. February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Enda to Leave Handy Flat over Pub Plan to Cut out State Cars and Free Rides". Mail on Sunday. February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Masked protesters picket Taoiseach's house in Castlebar". Irish Independent. 17 June 2013.