By Christiaan Feehan, Event Manager
People often remark what an amazing place Dublin Castle must be to work in, and it’s something you could easily take for granted, so I consciously make an effort to look around and take a moment to take it in. I remember during the 2013 European presidency we had an office on the top floor that overlooked the Dubhlinn Garden. There were mornings when a thin veil of mist hung over the garden, and given that this was the place where the city got its name and where the Vikings built a harbour, that to me often felt sort of timeless, I guess. The city centre moves so quickly, and can be frenetic, but the Castle can sometimes feel removed from all that, even in the sense of time. It can slow down, it can feel ancient, then turn a corner and it feels modern. That’s the beauty of the place.
For me, two of the highlights of last year were the visits of François Hollande and of US Vice President Joe Biden. It’s fair to say that nobody rolls like the American Government, a huge amount of pre-planning goes into visits like that. From examination of the composition of the walls (to see how secure they are) to plotting the movement of the VP. They often enter the building the way you’d least expect them to.
One more example, 18th May 2011. Standing in a doorway in the courtyard. Waiting for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to arrive for her State Dinner. The Union Jack flying above the State Apartments, the tricolour flying alongside. And in that moment there was an energy in that courtyard that I’ve only ever encountered on stage. An anticipation. A cue, an entrance, a performance and an exit. The choreography and nervous energy inside the walls was the same. As if the Castle was an actor about to play the role of a lifetime. They are moments of great privilege that this building gives you.
It is possible to hire a venue within the Castle complex for special events – click here to find out more.