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Who was the last person to stay in the Royal Apartments at Dublin Castle?

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Ireland - Ireland FAQs and Trivia
Written by Hugh McManus   

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Sunday, 02 May 2010 10:03

First off, what are the Royal Apartments at Dublin Castle?  Some might even wonder what is Dublin Castle?

Dublin Castle was constructed at the edge of the city around 1204 by order of English King John (that's the King John of Robin Hood fame!).  The Norman invasion of Ireland, which began in 1169, established a foothold in the country.  Dublin Castle, a wooden Viking fortification, was upgraded to a bone fide castle to serve as the English seat of government in Ireland.  Construction was completed in 1230.

The Castle served as the seat of government for British rule in Ireland until 1922.  It was the residence of the viceroy, the representative of the sovereign, and home of the monarch when he or she visited the country.  The main rooms, which are open to the public, include St. Patrick's Ballroom where the Irish President is inaugurated; the Throne Room, which holds a throne from the reign of William II and the Vice Regal Apartments (sometimes called the Royal or State Apartments).  For many years, these apartments were used to house dignitaries visiting Ireland.  Who was the last such dignitary to stay in these apartments?

The answer is none other than British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  Mrs Thatcher stayed in the apartments on December 8, 1980, when she visited Ireland for talks with Taoiseach Charles Haughey and senior members of the Irish Government.  After that, the apartments were no longer used for visiting dignitaries.
 

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