Dublin Castle (Irish: Caislean Bhaile Átha Cliath ) of Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the seat of the British government’s administration in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it is from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The castle served as the seat of English, later British government of Ireland under the dominion Ireland (1171-1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800-1922).

After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, the complex ceremony handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. [1]


Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of roles throughout its history. Originally built as a defensive fortification for the Norman city of Dublin, later developed into a royal residence, resided in by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy of Ireland, the representative of the monarch. The second in command in the Dublin Castle administration, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, also had his office there. Over the years, Parliament and the courts met at the castle before moving to new purpose-built premises. There was also a military garrison. “Castle Catholic” was a pejorative term for Catholics who were considered to be too friendly with or supporting the British administration.

At the formation of the Free State in 1922, assumed the castle for a decade, the role of the Four Courts on the Liffey quays which had been severely damaged during the civil war.

It was decided in 1938 that the inauguration of the first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde would take place in the castle, and the complex has hosted this ceremony since. The castle is also used to house official state visits, and more informal foreign connections, state banquets and government policy launches, and acts as a central base for Ireland’s hosting the European Presidency approximately every 10 years.


The Record Tower, the only surviving tower of the medieval castle dating from c.1228.

To his left is the Chapel Royal.

Dublin Castle was first founded as a major defensive work of Meiler Fitzhenry on the orders of King John of England in 1204, [2] some time after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, when it was commanded to a castle built with strong walls and good ditches the defense of the city, the administration of justice, and the protection of the king’s treasure. [3] largely complete by 1230, the castle was typical Norman courtyard design, with a central square but keep, bounded all sides by high defensive walls and protected in every corner of a round tower. Positioned to the southeast Norman Dublin Castle formed a corner of the outer perimeter of the city, with the river Poddle as a natural way to defend themselves along two of its sides. The city wall directly connects the castle’s northeastern Powder Tower, which stretches north and west around the city before the reunification of the castle on the Southwestern Bermingham Tower. In 1620 the English-born Judge Luke Gernonvar very impressed by the wall: “a great and mighty wall, square, and the incredible thickness”. [ Citation needed ]

The Poddle diverted into the city through the vaults where the walls adjacent to the castle, artificial floods moat of the fortress city heights. One of these vaults and part of the wall survive buried under the buildings 18th century, and is open to the public.

Soldiers at Dublin Castle, c.1905

By the Middle Ages wooden house in the castle square evolved and changed, the most significant addition is the Great Hall built of stone and wood, alternatively used as the Reichstag, the courts and the banquet hall. The building survived until 1673, when it was damaged by fire and demolished shortly afterwards. The Castle court department, the Irish equivalent of the English Star Chamber, sitting in Dublin Castle in a room that is specially built for around 1570. The castle sustained serious fire damage in 1684. Extensive remodeling transformed it from medieval fortress to the Georgian palace. No traces of medieval buildings remain above ground level today, with the exception of the large Record Tower (about 1228-1230); it is the only surviving tower of the original fortification, its pinnacles an early 19th century additions. [4]

United Irishmen General Joseph Holt, a participant in the 1798 Rising, was detained in the Bermingham Tower before being transported to New South Wales 1799th

1884 Officer of the castle was the center of a sensational gay scandal incited by Irish nationalist politician William O’Brien through his newspaper United Ireland . [5]

In 1907, the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from the castle. Suspicion fell on the Officer of Arms, Sir Arthur Vicars, but rumors about his homosexuality and links to important societal gay men in London, may have been compromised undersökningen.Juvel has never been found. [6]

At the beginning of the Easter Rising in 1916, a force of twenty-five Irish army were members able to seize the entrance and guard room of the castle, before reinforcements for the small garrison came. [7] During the Anglo-Irish War the Castle was the nerve center of the British effort against Irish separatism . On the night of Bloody Sunday in 1920, three Irish Republican Army members Dick McKee, Conor Cluneoch Peadar Clancy, tortured and killed there. [8] [9] [10]

When the Irish Free State came to 1922, ceased Dublin Castle to serve as the administrative seat. It served for some years as temporary Courts of Justice (the four courts, home of the Irish judiciary, had been destroyed in 1922).After the court vacated the premises, the Castle was used for state ceremonial. As Chairman of the Executive Council, Éamon de Valera received references from which the newly arrived ambassadors to Ireland on behalf of King George V in 1930. 1938 Douglas Hyde was inaugurated as president of Ireland at the castle. Inaugurations of subsequent presidents took place there in 1945, 1952, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1983, 1990, 1997 and 2011. President Erskine Hamilton Childers’ lying in-state took place there in November 1974, which allowed the former President Éamon de Valera in September, 1975.

The castle is a tourist attraction and after major renovation, is also used as a conference center. During Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union, it has been the site of numerous meetings of the European Council. The crypt of the Chapel Royal is now used as an arts center, and occasional concerts are held in the grounds of the castle. The complex of buildings is usually open to the public, except during state functions.

State Apartments

The state apartments, [11] located in the southern area of buildings in Upper Yard, contains rooms previously used by the Lord Lieutenant for personal accommodations and public entertain Castle season. Today, these richly decorated rooms used by the Irish Government for official purposes, including political announcements, hosting state visits and ceremonial inauguration of the President every seven years. The main room in the state apartments include:

Saint Patrick’s Hall

This is the most beautiful place in the function room, and includes one of the most important decorative interiors in Ireland. Former ballroom of the Lord Lieutenant administration today the room is used for presidential inaugurations. It is one of the oldest rooms in the castle, dating from the 1740s, although its interior is largely from c. 1790, including the most significant painted ceilings in Ireland is carried out by Vincenzo Valdre (c. 1742-1814). It consists of three panels, showing the roof coronation of King George III, St. Patrick introducing Christianity to Ireland, and King Henry II received the submission of the Irish Chieftains. The state dinner hosted by the President of Ireland to welcome Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland was held here in the evening of 18 May 2011.

After disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871, the Order of St. Patrick, the Irish order of chivalry, moved his ceremonial home from St. St. Patrick’s Cathedral Patrick Hall. The bands and hatchment plates of the knights who lived at the time of Irish independence remain.

Throne room

Originally built as Battleaxe Hall in the 1740s, it was converted into a presence department around 1790. The royal decoration date from that time and from changes in the 1830s. It contains a throne built for the visit of King George IV to Ireland 1821st

State Drawing Room

Built in the 1830s as the main reception room of the Lord Lieutenant and his household, today this room is reserved in use for receiving foreign dignitaries. Largely destroyed in a fire in 1941, the room was reconstructed with slight modifications in 1964-1968 by the OPW, using salvaged and replicated furnishings and decor.

State Dining Room

Also called Picture Gallery, and formerly known as the Supper room, this is the oldest room in the castle and largely retains its original furnishings, has avoided major changes and fire over the years. It originates from Lord Chesterfield building of the state apartments in the 1740s, and was intended to be used as a dinner room adjoining Patrick Hall and as a personal dining.Today, the room is still used for dinner when conferences take place in St. Patrick’s Hall.

State bedroom

These former private quarters of the Lord Lieutenant was built as five interconnecting rooms which runs along the back of the building, next to the spine corridor that separates them from government salon. Completely rebuilt in the 1960s after the fire in 1941, the rooms retain the original courtly sequence and today is used as the associated drawings and conference rooms to the main apartments. The last dignitary to stay in the royal bedrooms was Margaret Thatcher, who spent a night with her husband Dennis during the European Council meetings in the 1980s.

State corridor

The most architectural space of state apartments, this expressive, deeply modeled corridor was built c. 1758 to the design of the Surveyor General, Thomas Eyre. Based on the early 18th century hall of Edward Lovett Pearce in the former parliament building on College Green, it has a marching procession of arches and vaults originally top-lit. Unfortunately office floors built over the skylight after complete reconstruction of the corridor in the 1960s as a result of differential settlement with the reconstruction of the adjacent salongen.Korridoren features exact plaster casts of the original bow detail, and the original door cases and fireplaces rescued before refurbishment.

Dublin Castle is currently maintained by the Office of Public Works, and houses, among other offices in the Revenue Commissioners in a 20-century building at the end of the Castle Yard, some parts of the Office of Public Works in an old stable area, and some features in Garda Síochána.

The castle complex also hosts the Chester Beatty Library, in a purpose built facility.


Dublin Castle has starred in many films, including Barry Lyndon , Michael Collins , Becoming Jane and medal , as well as the television series The Tudors, where it serves as the Vatican in the pilot.


Dublin Castle hosts the Heineken Green Energy Festival every May bank holiday weekend. Part of Dublin Castle appears on the cover of Jandek albumKhartoum Variations .

See also

  • Castles in the UK and Ireland
  • Royal Chapel
  • Dublin Castle administration in Ireland
  • List of castles in Ireland


  1. Jump up ^ Costello, Peter (1999). Dublin Castle, in the life of the Irish nation. Dublin. Wolfhound Press ISBN 0-86327-610-5.
  2. Jump up ^ “Fitzhenry, Meiler.” Dictionary of National Biography.London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885-1900.
  3. Jump up ^ McCarthy, Denis; Benton, David (2004). Dublin Castle: at the heart of Irish history. Dublin: Irish Government Stationery Office. pp. 12-18. ISBN 0-7557-1975-1.
  4. Jump up ^ Dublin Castle (2002). “Dublin Castle site (history)”. Dublin Castle. Archived from the original The 1 August 2008. Taken 2008-08-20.
  5. Jump up ^ Costello, Peter Dublin Castle in the life of the Irish nation , wolf Press, 1999, P77, P104
  6. Jump up ^ Kilfeather, Siobhán Marie Dublin: A Cultural History , Oxford University Press, 2005, p248
  7. Jump up ^ Kostick, Conor. Easter Rising. pp. 115-116. ISBN 0-86278-638-X.
  8. Jump up ^ Sean O’Mahony, died in the castle: Three murders in Dublin Castle in 1920. 1916/1921 Club
  9. Jump up ^ Dwyer, T. Ryle, the squad (2005)
  10. Jump up ^ MacLysaght, Changing Times (1978)
  11. Jump up ^ McCarthy, Denis; Benton, David (2004). Dublin Castle: at the heart of Irish history. Dublin: Irish Government Stationery Office. pp.128-130. ISBN 0-7557-1975-1.