The Mansion House was conceptualised in the 18th century by one of Ireland’s great visionaries, Joshua Dawson. The Round Room was purpose designed in 1821 to receive King George IV. Remarkable political events have taken place here including the first ever meeting of the Dáil Eireann in 1919 and throughout the years we have proudly welcomed high profile guests from across the globe including Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Queen Victoria, Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco.
It was in the Round Room, in 1919 that the first Dail Eireann was held: Making the first definitive parliamentary move for Home rule. Seventy of the elected Irish representatives did not attend West Minister but pledged to the First Irish parliamentary meeting ever held in Ireland instead.
In 1921, 100 years after the room was built to receive the British monarch, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified here. The ratification ended the Anglo Irish War, declared Ireland as a Free State and caused the Civil War.
In the 1990’s the Round Room and the Lord Mayors supper room was converted back to a fully functioning venue which we know today as part of the Conference and Events Venue.
History of the Supper Room
The room in which Fire Restaurant is now located is formally called the Supper Room. The present room is the third structure built for such a purpose on this site. The first was built in 1864, the second in 1881 and the last in 1891.
The room, built on a budget of £1,500, was used as the supper room for the Lord Mayor initially, later it was used as a cultural centre but in the 1990s it returned to its original purpose as a supper room and became a commercial restaurant. In 2005, it became Fire Restaurant and Lounge, whilst the building itself remains in the care of the state, and the Lord Mayor is still in residence in the Mansion House and often comes to dine in ‘The Supper Room’.
- On the 25 April 1715, the Dublin Corporation purchased The Mansion House at a cost of £3,500 and also agreed to pay a yearly rent to Joshua Dawson of forty shillings and a loaf of double-refined sugar weighing six pounds each Christmas. In return, Dawson agreed to build on an extra room to the house which could be used for civic receptions – the famous wood paneled Oak Room.
- Dublin was the first city in Ireland or Britain to have an official residence for its Lord Mayor.
- The Mansion House is not unique in having been planned and built as a private residence for a wealthy individual, and later taking on a public function. Most of Dublin’s great mansions now have a civic or political role. The Mansion House is unique, however, in that it retains its residential function in addition to its public function.