Your Questions Answered
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How do I address the President?
Simply as ‘President’ or ‘A Uachtaráin’
Can the President intervene on my behalf with other Government departments?
While the President may empathise with an individual in difficult circumstances, in view of the constitutional requirements of his office, the President cannot intervene in or make representations about matters which come within the remit of the Government, the Courts, the Local Authorities or, indeed, any of the institutions of the State.
Can the President grant financial assistance to persons in distress?
Unfortunately, the President is unable to grant financial assistance to persons in distress. The President and his staff are frequently informed of difficult situations in which individual citizens find themselves. However, the President’s Office has available to it only a limited amount of public funding under the national budget which may be used solely for the purposes stipulated in law and associated with fulfilling the constitutional duties of the President of Ireland.
Can the President support fund-raising/charity campaigns?
While the President is supportive and encouraging of all philanthropic endeavours it is a long established practise of the Office that the President cannot become directly involved with fund-raising and/or charity campaigns no matter how worthy the cause.
Who lives at Áras an Uachtaráin?
The President and his wife, Sabina, live at Áras an Uachtaráin. The Aide-de-Camp (ADC) on duty also stays at Áras an Uachtaráin.
What/Who is an ADC?
The President, as Commander in Chief of the Irish Defence Forces, is served by Aides-de-Camp. The Aides-de-Camp assist the President with his day to day presidential duties, accompany the President on official public engagements in Ireland and on State Visits abroad and represent the President at funeral and on State occasions. There is an ADC on duty 24/7 at Áras an Uachtaráin.
When is the President’s birthday?
President Michael D. Higgins’ birthday is on the 18th April.
What are the names of the President’s dogs?
The President's Bernese Mountain Dogs are called Bród and Síoda. There is also a Labrador named Fred who lives at Áras an Uachtaráin.
How can I visit Áras an Uachtaráin?
There are public tours of Áras an Uachtaráin on Saturdays. Saturday Tours are operated by the Office of Public Works. Visitors should park in the Phoenix Park Visitors Centre. (see map).
Buses are available to take visitors to Áras an Uachtaráin. The contact telephone numbers is 01 6770095.
How many rooms are there in Áras an Uachtaráin? How big are the gardens?
It is sometimes claimed that there are 92 rooms in Áras an Uachtaráin. In reality, there are 92 numbered doors to offices, storage rooms, toilets and closets used by the staff of the Áras, the OPW and the Defence Forces. The President uses half a dozen rooms as private quarters. There are four rooms used for formal engagements and functions; the State Dining Room, the State Reception Room, the Council of State Room and the Drawing Room. Take the interactive tour of the house. Áras an Uachtaráin is situated on a 120 acre demesne in Phoenix Park.
How do I invite President Higgins to an event?
Formal invitations should be submitted in writing to President Higgins or alternatively by email to [email protected] As the President’s diary is arranged some months in advance it is advisable, if feasible, to issue the invitation at least six months in advance of the proposed date of the event.
Is it true that there is a light for the Irish diaspora in a window at the Áras?
A light constantly shines from an upstairs window in Áras an Uachtaráin. Former President Mary Robinson introduced the light, a symbolic beacon reaching out to Irish emigrant families, and it has been there ever since. President Robinson's light was replaced by a Tilley lamp given to President McAleese on her inauguration in November 1997.