Venue History

 

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 Venue and Events Venue in Dublin.

The Mansion House itself is still home to the first citizen of Dublin, the Lord Mayor. For more information on the Lord Mayor, and the history of the Mansion House, please click here.

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’.

INTERESTING FACTS:

  • Queen Victoria was the 2nd Royal to visit The Round Room in 1900.
  • Michael Collins once posed as a janitor by sweeping the floor of the Round Room and successfully duped the British Army who were there specifically to arrest him but failed to recognize him.
  • Dublin was the first city in Ireland or Britain to have an official residence for its Lord Mayor.
  • 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-panelled Oak Room.
  • The venue and house were almost demolished in the 1930s to enable the building of a new Dublin City Hall before, thankfully, plans were abandoned.
  • Princess Grace (Grace Kelly) of Monaco’s visit to Ireland on 10th June 1961 took in a visit to the Round Room where she presented various charities with 700 punts before a four-day private holiday in the west to visit her ancestral homeland of Co Mayo.
  • The Lord Mayor’s Banqueting Hall also known as the Supper Room was added to the venue in 1864. This space now operates as FIRE Restaurant & Lounge. In its period as a cultural centre, many of Dublin’s residents would remember visiting the venue to attend one of The Irish Dancing Championships that took place regularly.
  • The Lord Mayor’s Ball began shortly after the Mansion House had been acquired in 1715 as the residence for Dublin’s first citizen. The ball originally took place in the Oak Room on St. Stephen’s night (26 December) and the principal invited guests were the city’s 24 Aldermen and their wives. Proceeds back in 1715 went towards the support of poor boys at the Blue- Coat School in Blackhall Place. In 2019, on the 26th January, 500 guests will be in the Round Room for the Lord Mayor’s Ball which intends to raise €100,000 for Hugh’s House, The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Jack and Jill Foundation.
  • The members of U2 – Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton, plus their then manager, Paul McGuinness – became freemen of Dublin on March 18th, 2000 in a ceremony in The Round Room. Under one of their new rights, Bono and the Edge grazed lambs on St Stephen’s Green the next day.
  • The Web Summit’s inaugural event took place in the venue in 2009.
  • In 1821 the venue hosted just one event. Today the venue regularly hosts 2 events per day.
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