The story behind the 1903 gravestone at Áras an Uachtaráin

Britain's King Edward VII visited Ireland that year

The story behind the 1903 gravestone at Áras an Uachtaráin

Image: Facebook/Áras an Uachtaráin

Áras an Uachtaráin, the president's house, is steeped in history.

It started as a modest brick house for the Phoenix Park Chief Ranger back in 1751.

It was subsequently acquired as an 'occasional residence' for the Lords Lieutenants, and gradually became a large mansion.

After Ireland gained independence, it was occupied by three Governors-General between 1922 and 1937.

Ireland's first president, Dr Douglas Hyde, then took up residence there.

However, within the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin there is a lone gravestone dating from the early 1900s.

A statue of Britain's King Edward VII, erected during his reign, in Lichfield | Image: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

Back in July 1903, when Britain's King Edward VII visited Ireland, he stayed at the Vice Regal Lodge - as the Áras was then known.

The king had brought his Irish terrier, named Jack, with him.

But Jack fell ill on the voyage over, and died shortly after arriving here.

The British monarch decided to have a memorial put up over the terrier's grave.

The headstone pays tribute to the dog, remarking that Ireland is his "native land".

Today, more than 100 years later, the grave is still there.

Image: Facebook/Áras an Uachtaráin

The headstone reads: "Here lies 'Jack' King Edward's favourite Irish terrier who only lived twelve hours after reaching his native land. He died at the Vice Regal Lodge on July 21st 1903".

The grave is beside a path in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin - not far from the recently installed 'People’s Acorn' and 'The Plough and Stars' sculptures.