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Embassy History & Previous Ambassadors

Find out about the history of the Chancery Building, Official Residence and Ireland's previous Ambassadors to the United States.

  • Chancery Building & Official Residence
  • Previous Ambassadors

Chancery Building & Official Residence

2234 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The Embassy of Ireland in Washington has been located at 2234 Massachusetts Avenue at Sheridan Circle since its purchase by the Irish State in 1949.

The original architect of the house at 2234 Massachusetts Avenue was William Penn Cresson. The Republican Governor of Louisiana William P. Kellogg (1873-1877) was one of the first owners of the property. Kellogg was also elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1882 and served one term from 1883 to 1885, after which he continued to live in Washington.

The semi-detached limestone building has two major facades (Massachusetts Avenue and Sheridan Circle). The interior circulation and rooms which are designed about a central stair hall, as well as the combination of reflective surfaces and natural light, produce an illusion of greater space.

Today, the building includes formal reception rooms which have been maintained in their original style as well as offices for Embassy staff.

There is an annual open day for members of the public at the Embassy in early May.

Sheridan Circle features a statue of Civil War General Philip Sheridan. The statue was dedicated in 1909 in the presence of President Theodore Roosevelt. The houses surrounding the circle were originally built in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Two blocks to the north of the Circle is a bronze sculpture of the Irish patriot Robert Emmet by Jerome Connor (1876-1943). This statue was dedicated in June 1917 in the presence of President Woodrow Wilson and rededicated in 2016 as part of the programme commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The Residence of the Ambassador

The Residence of the Ambassador of Ireland was historically named the Frederic Delano House following its construction in 1924.

The building was designed by noted Washington architect Waddy B. Wood and built for Frederic Delano, member of the Federal Reserve Board and uncle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Irish Government purchased the house in 1965.

Previous Ambassadors

There have been seventeen previous Irish Heads of Mission to the United States.  The first Head of Mission at Ambassador rank was John Joseph Hearne, who was posted to the United States in 1950.


2013 - 2017: Her Excellency Anne Anderson

2007 - 2013: His Excellency Michael Collins

2002 - 2007: His Excellency Noel Fahey

1997 - 2002: His Excellency Sean O Huiginn

1991 - 1997: His Excellency Dermot Gallagher

1985 - 1991: His Excellency Padraic N. MacKernan

1984 - 1985: His Excellency Tadhg O'Sullivan

1978 - 1984: His Excellency Sean Donlon

1973 - 1978: His Excellency John G. Molloy

1970 - 1973: His Excellency William Warnock

1964 - 1969: His Excellency William P. Fay

1960 - 1964: His Excellency Thomas J. Kiernan

1950 - 1960: His Excellency John Joseph Hearne

1947 - 1950: Sean Nunan

1938 - 1947: Robert Brennan

1929 - 1938: Michael MacWhite

1924 - 1929: Timothy Smiddy