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Farmleigh gets ready to welcome the Kennys.

Byline: SAMUEL HAMILTON

ITS landscaped gardens, plush kitchen and large open fires make it a perfect place to live - and now Enda Kenny is all set to make Farmleigh his new home.

Located close to the President's pad in the Phoenix Park, the historic four-bedroom Steward's Lodge, in the grounds of the Farmleigh Estate is a home fit for a new Taoiseach.

Set on a sprawling 78-acre site, the Fine Gael leader's sumptuous new residence enjoys views over the estate's boathouse and lake, as well as the walled garden and glasshouses close by.

The house has two downstairs reception rooms, a small study and a conservatory, with four bedrooms waiting upstairs.

The master bedroom comes fitted with an en-suite bathroom for him and his wife Fionnaula, as well as a private study and a dressing area.

The Father of the Dail and his family will also be able to use the leisure facilities at the nearby Farmleigh House which has a fitness centre and a pool.

The Government bought the Dublin estate that the soon-to-be Taoiseach's home lies on from the Guinness family in 1999 for EUR29.2million - earmarking Steward's Lodge as our version of 10 Downing Street.

The Office of Public Works then spent EUR568,000 transforming it into an official residence fit for the leader of the Dail with another EUR30,000 spent landscaping the gardens.

But incredibly, the Mayo TD will become the first full-time occupant of the residence. Brian Cowen preferred to commute to his family home in native Offaly where possible, only bunking there when pressing late-night Dail business made it impossible to return home.

Before him, Bertie Ahern shunned the lavish estate for his modest three-bedroom semi in Drumcondra in North Dublin.

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2011
Words:300
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