Leinster House is the seat of the Irish Parliament, made up of the Dáil (lower house) and the Seanad (senate or upper house). The first of Dublin's great 18th-century houses to be constructed south of the Liffey, Leinster was built by Richard Castle (between 1745 and 1748) for the Earl of Kildare, who became Duke of Leinster in 1766. The Seanad meets in the sumptuous North Wing Saloon; the Dáil in a rather prosaic room added as a lecture theatre in 1897.
The house has two formal fronts - the Kildare Street frontage, designed to look like a townhouse, and a Merrion Square frontage - that are connected by a long central corridor. Leinster House has been claimed as the prototype for the White House in the United States (the White House architect, James Hoban, was born in 1762 in County Kilkenny). The entrance hall and principal rooms were redecorated towards the end of the 18th century with the help of James Wyatt. No cameras or recording equipment are allowed inside.