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The Shelbourne Hotel - History

The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection

27 St. Stephen's Green · Dublin, 2 Ireland

The Shelbourne Hotel - History

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The Shelbourne Hotel is a timeless landmark and an Irish institution. As the scene of significant historical events and the backdrop for important social and family occasions for generations of Dubliners over the past two centuries, the hotel is an iconic part of Dublin city history.


Shelbourne Hotel History

A Tipperary man, Martin Burke, whose ambition was to open a hotel in Dublin that would ‘woo genteel customers who wanted solid, comfortable and serviceable accommodation at a fashionable address', established The Shelbourne Hotel in 1824. To achieve this, he leased three houses - numbers 27, 28 and 29 St. Stephen's Green - in the most fashionable part of the city. "In consideration of a down payment of £1,000 and the promise of a further £2,000 at a later date, and a yearly rent of £300," Burke and his heirs were granted the leasehold interest for 150 years.

The full story (PDF)

Shelbourne Hotel Dublin history.

The 1916 Easter Rising and the Irish Constitution

In 1904, George Olden became the hotel's new General Manager. From 1906 to 1913, the hotel enjoyed great success. New additions included the telephone and a lift, and guests started arriving by car and tram. The summer of 1912 saw a great influx of visitors from the U.S., Japan and Australia. In 1914 with the outbreak of war, several of the hotel's German staff were interned and The Shelbourne unofficially became the hub of military activity.

In May 1922, The Shelbourne played host to its most historic meeting - the drafting of the Irish Constitution. Bunreacht na hÉireann was drawn up in room 112, under the leadership of Michael Collins. This room is now The Constitution Room.

Restoration of The Hotel

In 1956, the ballroom was added to the hotel and immediately became the premier venue for Dublin's society events. In March 2005, The Shelbourne Hotel closed for an extensive restoration project. The last time the hotel undertook such a large project was in 1867. The hotel has been magnificently restored throughout to ensure that the wonderful heritage and tradition of The Shelbourne has been retained.

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Dublin city centre history.

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