The reason for its construction is unique, and the Round Room has certainly played a notable part in Irish history. With the upcoming visit of George IV it was deemed necessary to build a place that would accommodate the expected large crowd as there was no other room in Dublin suitable for the ‘big party’. So, the noted architect John Semple got to work and designed the circular building, which at the time of the king’s visit had a temporary roof. Building such a place for a party seems like a particularly Irish thing to do, and the night, of course, was an enormous success with the king saying, ‘My heart has always been Irish’. In the exhibition there is much to see about the king, the big night, plans for the building, the clothes worn by attendees, music played during the evening, and you can even learn some fancy dance moves! Hey, do you do the quadrille?
The place has since been used for many events including plays, concerts, sales-of work, Irish dance competitions, craft fares and for conferring the Freedom of the City on popular recipients when the Oak Room (in the Mansion House) was deemed too small. And, famously, on the 21st January 1919 the place was packed when the First Dail was convened. The Round Room’s place in history is assured, and the exhibition brings it to life in an interesting and informative style.