Steward's Lodge

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Steward's Lodge
Steward's Lodge W1 2011-03.jpg
View into Steward's Lodge grounds
Steward's Lodge is located in Dublin
Steward's Lodge
Location within Dublin
General information
LocationPhoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates53°21′58″N 6°21′29″W / 53.36619°N 6.35802°W / 53.36619; -6.35802Coordinates: 53°21′58″N 6°21′29″W / 53.36619°N 6.35802°W / 53.36619; -6.35802
Current tenantsTaoiseach
Renovated2006
Renovation cost€600,000
OwnerGovernment of Ireland
Technical details
Floor count2

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.[1] 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, it was reported that the then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, would make use of the residence, however he used it very rarely.[7][8] Former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar resided in his private apartment in Castleknock,[9] but used the Lodge for occasional parties at his own expense.[8] During the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland it was used as a residence by Varadkar due to its teleconferencing facilities.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d 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 Reid, Liam (28 December 2005). "Farmleigh lodge planned as residence for future taoisigh". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  5. ^ O'Regan, Michael (29 January 2009). "Cowen questioned on use of Farmleigh". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  6. ^ O'Brien, Jason (25 July 2009). "Cowen stays at Farmleigh more often". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Samuel (27 February 2011). "Farmleigh gets ready to welcome the Kennys". Irish Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via The Free Library.
  8. ^ a b "Steward's Lodge - A home fit for a Taoiseach". RTÉ News. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  9. ^ Ryan, Philip (23 February 2019). "Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's home targeted by protesters for second week in a row". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 3 August 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Varadkar complied with Covid guidelines in Phoenix Park, says spokesperson". RTÉ News. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020. According to the statement, the Taoiseach has been staying in Steward's Lodge during the last few weeks as it has secure office and video conferencing facilities, which allows him to work from home

External links[edit]