The first Irish restaurants, Dublin’s FIRE Steakhouse & Bar and SOLE Seafood & Grill to complete Fáilte Ireland’s Get China Ready programme have received their certificates from the national tourism development authority. The China Ready Programme is aimed at educating Irish tourism businesses about the opportunities available from the Chinese tourist market and is part of Fáilte Ireland’s work to assist tourism businesses with market diversification and reduce the risks currently posed by Brexit. The Programme is an initiative of Fáilte Ireland in cooperation with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Presenting the certificates, Paul Keeley, Director of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland said that Irish tourism businesses are beginning to see an increase in the number of Chinese visitors since direct flights from China started in June 2018. He emphasised:

“China is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world with numbers predicted to grow to 200 million by 2020. Last year, an estimated 70,000 Chinese visitors travelled to Ireland but with the advent of the new direct flights from Beijing and Hong Kong that number is expected to substantially increase. The aim of the ‘China Ready Programme’ is to ensure that the Chinese visitor is warmly welcomed to Ireland and that tourism businesses are prepared and culturally aware of the requirements of our Chinese visitors.”


Richie Wilson Executive Head Chef at FIRE & SOLE said:

“We are incredibly proud that FIRE Steakhouse & Bar and SOLE Seafood and Grill are the first restaurants in Ireland to receive the Fáilte Ireland ‘China Ready’ accreditation. The programme has educated staff across all departments of cultural differences, given us a greater understanding of the Chinese tourist market and provided us with the information and tools to implement positive changes to ensure all our guests will receive the best possible SOLE or FIRE experience. 

With these new changes in place we look forward to welcoming more Chinese guests to SOLE Seafood and Grill to experience the wealth of locally sourced Irish seafood and meat Ireland has to offer and to FIRE Steakhouse Restaurant & Bar to enjoy our award-winning Irish beef while dining in a part of Dublin’s history, FIRE’s dining room was originally built in 1864 as the Lord Mayors supper room and still features all the original architecture.”

China Ambassador, Yue Xiaoyoung and Mrs Kang, from the Fota Island Resort in Cork at SOLE Seafood & Grill – December 6th, 2018.

The coming months are exciting ones for the Conference and Events Venue, as they have 82 events confirmed until the end of the year! The time to book your 2019 event in the Round Room is now, as 2019 marks the 100 year anniversary since the first Dáil Éireann was held in the Round Room on January 1919.

Conference and Events Venue in Dublin


The ‘First Dáil’ of 1919. This Dáil was an assembly established by Sinn Féin MPs elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Upon winning a majority of Irish seats in the election (many uncontested), Sinn Féin MPs refused to recognise the United Kingdom parliament and instead convened as the First Dáil Éireann (translated as “Assembly of Ireland”): the unicameral legislature of a new notional Irish Republic, and the first Irish parliament to exist since 1801.

The first meeting of Dáil Éireann occurred on 21 January 1919 in the Round Room of the Mansion House: the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Being the first and highly symbolic meeting, the proceedings of the Dáil were conducted for the only time entirely in the Irish language. The Dáil elected Cathal Brugha as its Ceann Comhairle (chairman). A number of short documents were then adopted, this included the Declaration of Independence, that asserted that the Dáil was the parliament of a sovereign state called the “Irish Republic”; the Dáil established a cabinet called the Ministry or “Aireacht”, and an elected prime minister known both as the “Príomh Aire” and the “President of Dáil Éireann”.

Book now your 2019 event in the Round Room, one of the most historic and important venues in Dublin city centre.

For more information on hosting an event at The Conference and Events Venue in 2019 call or email our team today:

T:+353 (0)1 6344 628

Press Release

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar is pictured at the announcement of the Aer Lingus College Football Series, a five-game sports tourism programme which kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame to the Aviva Stadium in 2020.  

  • Over €250 million economic value expected for series
  • Aer Lingus unveiled as sponsor of the five-game Aer Lingus College Football Series at the Aviva Stadium
  • Series kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame, scheduled for Saturday 29th August 2020
  • Game weeks will include a full program of high-profile business, academic, cultural and sporting events including a number of US High School football fixtures as part of the overall experience under the now established game umbrella #MuchMoreThanAGame


An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. today announced a five-game plan which will see the return of College Football to Ireland and an expected €250 million economic windfall

for the country over the coming years. The series kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame which will take place on Saturday 29th August 2020. Aer Lingus has been unveiled as title sponsor of the series at the Aviva Stadium with other fixtures and teams will be announced in due course.


The previous Navy vs Notre Dame fixture in the Aviva Stadium in 2012 was a huge success with 35,000 fans travelling from the US; resulting in one of the largest economic and tourism boosts for the country in recent memory. The fixture is one of the oldest rivalries in College Football and Notre Dame won the previous Dublin showdown 50-10. This Saturday (27th October 2018) the two teams will play their annual head-to-head game in San Diego.


Speaking at the announcement, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. said he was delighted that College Football was returning to Ireland for a five-game programme: “College football is one of the greatest spectacles in world sport and to bring it back to Ireland for a five-game series is wonderful news for Irish tourism and for sports fans. Over 35,000 fans travelled to Ireland when Notre Dame and Navy last met in Dublin in 2012 and we will warmly welcome them and many others back for the Aer Lingus College Football Classics. Major games such as this one showcase Ireland as a location for international events and tournaments and put our world-leading hospitality and tourism sector front and centre. I look forward to the first game of the series with the return of Notre Dame vs Navy in August 2020; I have no doubt it will be a hugely popular occasion.”


Tourism and Economy

The Aer Lingus College Football Series, starting in 2020, will have a huge economic impact in Ireland, particularly in the tourism industry. In 2012, Navy vs Notre Dame generated €60 million for Dublin (source: Dublin Chamber of Commerce) and an estimated €100 million in total for Ireland. Driving tourism and strengthening ties between Irish and US businesses and academic institutions is a key driver in bringing American Football back to Ireland. The five-game series is estimated to bring an economic boost of over €250 million to the Irish economy.


Organisers and Sponsors

The games will be organised by Irish American Events Ltd which is a joint venture between and Anthony Travel who have been involved in College Football games in Ireland previously. Welcoming today’s announcement, Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Game Steering Committee commented:These games will provide a further, very welcome boost for tourism in Ireland and showcase top-level college football to a wider fan base. Tourism Ireland in the US is working closely with Anthony Travel, the official travel company for both colleges, and other travel partners and we will be using these great sporting events to showcase the fantastic Aviva Stadium, Dublin and the world-class attractions that the island of Ireland offers as a destination.”


The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring said: “I welcome the announcement that College Football is returning to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in 2020 for a five-game programme. Sporting events like the American College Football Series strengthen our ties with other great sporting nations and they showcase Dublin as a destination for hosting major international sporting events.”


Commenting on the sponsorship, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Stephen Kavanagh said, “Aer Lingus is delighted to once again support College Football coming to Ireland, this time as title sponsor of the series. We have no doubt that this exciting event will strengthen the important ties, both in sports and in tourism, between Ireland and the US.  The US is a key market for the airline and one which we know very well.  As a result, we know how important College Football is in American life.  As we continue to realise our ambition to be the leading value carrier on the North Atlantic – we currently have direct flights to Ireland from 15 North American destinations and this is set to increase in the coming years – a high-profile partnership with College Football provides Aer Lingus with a unique opportunity to promote ourselves to this key strategic US audience. We very much look forward to welcoming the fans from Notre Dame and Navy onboard in 2020.”


The other key stakeholders driving the games in both Ireland and America include Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council.


Paul Keeley, Director of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland in welcoming fans of both College Teams said: “We are delighted to welcome both teams and their supporters to our capital city when they visit in 2020. From past experience of hosting the American Football Classic, it is worth an estimated €23 million to the local economy bringing a welcome boost to our tourism industry locally and nationally as many of the expected 30,000 US supporters and visitors stay and visit other parts of the country while here. In addition, it is expected that via ESPN in the U.S. an estimated 6 million viewers will watch the game providing Ireland with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our ability to host large-scale international sporting tournaments while also reaching out to viewers – and potential visitors – in one of our key markets.”


Navy vs Notre Dame

Navy is a team made up of players enrolled in the US Naval Academy and with one of the nation’s oldest College Football programmes. The US Naval Academy and the University of Notre Dame institutions have a long history of solidarity and support. The fixture was first played in 1927 and both teams are committed to renewing the college football fixture every year.


Notre Dame Football Team and the University of Notre Dame have strong historical links to Ireland and have established one of the largest and most widespread fan bases in college football. Currently coached by Brian Kelly, Notre Dame has had the vast majority of wins in this fixture including the two occasions it was played in Dublin – Croke Park in 1996 and Aviva Stadium in 2012.


The Aer Lingus College Football Series will have a very strong Irish-American influence. Not only will there be the usual college football fanfare with lots of fun events celebrating the red, white and blue including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties, but there will also be a great celebration of the close Irish-American links that are so highly valued. The teams will compete each year for the Keough-Naughton College Football perpetual Trophy, acknowledging the contribution to Irish-American society of Don Keough and Martin Naughton.

Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk commented: “We are thrilled and excited to return to Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the 94th playing of the Navy-Notre Dame game,” said Gladchuk.  “In 2012, it was one of the greatest airlifts in all of sports with more than 35,000 people coming from the United States to witness the beauty of Ireland and the extravaganza that is Navy-Notre Dame and we expect just as many people to return in 2020.  The support and enthusiasm for the game in Ireland is magnificent with the complete support from the Prime Minister and the Irish government agencies. We are looking forward to a great matchup in a country that knows no bounds for hospitality.”

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick commented: “The University of Notre Dame, our football program, our alumni and fans had such a wonderful experience in 2012,” said Swarbrick. “The people of Ireland were incredibly welcoming and made our time on the Emerald Isle unforgettable. It wasn’t long after our return from that trip that Navy initiated conversations with the hopes of bringing this matchup back to Dublin. Chet and his staff at Navy deserve a ton of credit for making this a reality. “I’m so excited, not only for our student-athletes and those that will travel from the states but for the people of Ireland and all of those that will make this another experience to cherish.”


U.S. high schools will also have the opportunity to travel and play in Ireland as part of the “Dublin Friday Night Lights” programme.


Ticketing / Hospitality & Travel Packages

Packages for the game will go on sale from the 25th of October 2018 through the official corporate hospitality game partner Travel packages will also go on sale from the 25th of October 2018 through Notre Dame’s official travel partner Anthony Travel in partnership with Abbey Group Ireland. General ticketing information to be released in due course.


For exclusive information see and follow College Football Ireland on Twitter @CFBIreland, Facebook @CollegeFootballIreland and Instagram @CFBIreland #MuchMoreThanAGame.


Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT:

Lord Mayor Nial Ring will host the Lord Mayor’s Charity Ball on Saturday 26th January 2019 at 7 pm in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.  Three very worthy charities will benefit from the proceeds of the Ball – Hugh’s House, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation. The Ball will be held in the Round Room only days after we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Dáil Éireann in the same room on 21st January.

The evening which is sponsored by Conference & Events Venue at the Mansion House will be one of fine food, music and fundraising in the beautiful and historic Round Room. Tickets for the Ball are priced at €125 each and they can be purchased from the Lord Mayor’s Office or at and click on I want to pay tab.

Lord Mayor Nial Ring said, “Hosting this Charity Ball will be one of the highlights of my year in office and the three charities which will benefit makes it more special. I know of the wonderful support Hugh’s House gives to families of children who are long-term in-patients at nearby Temple Street Hospital. The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind do exactly what it says on the tin! My family have participated in the puppy training programme and it is great to be able to support this life-changing service to the visually impaired. Everyone is aware of the vital role the Jack and Jill Foundation plays in the lives of families of children requiring intensive home nursing needs or, sadly, needing end of life care. Because of the partnership of my office with Padraic O’Kane of the Conference & Events Venue and FIRE Restaurant every cent raised goes directly to these brilliant charities.”

Padraic O’Kane of the Conference & Events Venue, FIRE Restaurant & Lounge at the Mansion House  and SOLE Seafood & Grill added: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Office of the Lord Mayor of Dublin in supporting the annual Lord Mayor’s Ball for 2019 which is always an amazing and fun evening – along with the support of our key suppliers, we collectively are in a position to ensure that all the donations including the full price collected from ticket sales goes directly to the three chosen charities for 2019.”

Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT:

For all media queries, please contact:

Dublin City Council’s Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277 

 For further information, please contact:

Office of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, The Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

T: (01) 222 6200 / E.


Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT:


History of the Lord Mayor’s Ball

The Lord Mayor’s Ball dates back to 1715 where it originally took place in the Oak Room of the Mansion House on St. Stephen’s night (26th December) and the principal invited guests were the city’s 24 Aldermen and their wives. Proceeds went towards the support of poor boys at the Blue-Coat School in Blackhall Place. In 1728 the members of the lower house on Dublin City Assembly, who were not invited to the Ball, managed to have it abolished on the grounds that it was causing ‘great inconvenience’.

It was revived in September 1861 for the visit to Dublin of the Prince of Wales and the venue was the Round Room at the Mansion House which had been built in 1821. Local businesses benefitted with ‘Ball Dresses in Fancy and Light-Coloured Silks’ for sale at Mrs. Sidford of 17 Nassau Street and ‘Fancy Tulle and Tarleton Dresses, Sylphide Wreaths and Head-dresses; for sale with James Forrest & Sons of Grafton Street. The Ball continued to be held most years until 1912.

The tumultuous events of 1913-1924, and the suspension of Dublin City Council from 1924 to 1930, meant that the Lord Mayor’s Ball was not held. Revived in 1946, it was held in the Metropole Ballroom in O’Connell Street with the Lord Mayor’s Coal Fund as the beneficiary. From 1975 to 1997 it was held in the Burlington Hotel on St. Patrick’s Day in aid of the Central Remedial Clinic. Its latest revival was in 2013 when Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí held the Ball in aid of three charities and it has been held annually since then.


Conference & Events Venue @ the Mansion House 

The Conference & Events Venue at The Mansion House boasts six stunning spaces to include the distinctive Round Room and the original Lord Mayor’s Supper room.

The Round Room was originally constructed in 1821 to receive King George IV.  Today it is one of the largest city centre locations and proudly the venue of choice for many profile corporate and private Gala, Awards and Charity dinners and Ceremonies including the annual Lord Mayor Ball. It will also be incredible to host the Lord Mayor Ball when the venue will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the first Dáil Éireann, which was held on 21st January 1919.

The Supper Room, with its striking vaulted ceilings and glass stained windows was built in 1864 as the Lord Mayor’s banquet hall where many figures of State and dignitaries have been welcomed over the past 150 years. In 2005 the Supper Room was transformed into FIRE Restaurant & Lounge, one of the city’s best loved and innovative dining experiences.

For further information  

Information on the Three Charities:

Hugh’s House

Ade Stack & Marty Curley opened Hugh’s House in May 2015 after their son Hugh passed away.  They had watched parents all over Ireland whose babies or children were transferred to Dublin hospitals struggle to find accommodation in Dublin while still paying mortgages/rent and bills at home.  The aim of Hugh’s House is to take the stress away from parents and families, especially when their children are so sick.  Hugh’s House consists of two houses and is managed by a staff member alongside social workers from Temple Street, Rotunda, Holles Street and the Coombe Hospitals and volunteers.  Hugh’s House has also linked up with Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation to offer respite to their families.


Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) is Ireland’s national charity dedicated to helping people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.  For over 40 years we have provided life-changing services and support to people across Ireland with sight loss.


The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation provides home nursing care to children from birth to 5 years of age with severe to profound neurodevelopment delay and respite to their families.   Through a service that is fast, flexible and child and family centred, a home nursing care plan of 64 hours and up to a maximum of 80 hours is allocated to its families.   These are children who may never walk or talk, they may be tube fed, oxygen dependent and take seizures and the average number of pieces of medical equipment for each child is 24.  The charity also provides end of life care to children going home to die, regardless of their named or unnamed medical condition.  Jack & Jill has supported 2,300 children and their families since 1997, with 355 children currently under its wing today.



We are delighted to have FIRE and SOLE participating in the DublinTown Food and Drink Festival, where city centre’s restaurants, bars, cafés, bistros and hotels to make a programme of events that highlight the city’s amazing food and drink offerings from the 15th October to the 21st October 2018.

We had incredible experiences in both restaurants during the festival:

Pour your own beer and learn how to cook the perfect steak at FIRE Steakhouse & Bar

A well-prepared steak is one of life’s great pleasures! For the first time ever FIRE Steakhouse & Bar are offering guests the chance to learn how to cook the perfect steak and learn expert tips from FIRE’s chef. Guests will enjoy the steak they have cooked with a selection of sides but not before learning to pour the perfect pint of FIRE 1864, FIRE’s very own craft beer, to accompany their perfectly cooked steak.

SOLE & FIRE Food Trail

Why dine in only one restaurant when you can dine at two? Enjoy the best of Irish oysters and beef with this combination ticket.  Your evening will begin at SOLE Seafood & Grill on South William Street, where you will enjoy a selection of Irish Oysters while learning the difference between the rock and native oysters from around Ireland’s coast. You will then head to FIRE Steakhouse & Bar on Dawson Street, where you will enjoy a 10oz Dexter Sirloin, an exclusive cut of beef for the Food and Drink festival, expertly cooked to your liking and a selection of sides.  Of course, what would a meal be without a delicious dessert? To finish you can enjoy your choice of dessert from FIRE Steakhouse & Bar.


SOLE Seafood & Grills Celebration of Irish Oysters

SOLE invites you to join them for a celebration of Irish Oysters and the return of the Native Oyster to their menu. From Monday 15th – Saturday 20th October there will be an outdoor ice bed of oysters outside SOLE and SOLEs team will be joined by oyster producers from around Ireland who will be serving their oysters, natural and dressed, whilst chatting to guests throughout the day.

The size, shape and flavour of Oysters vary considerably from coast to coast in Ireland so treat your taste buds and join the team at SOLE for a series of tastings, talks and demos throughout the day and discover the difference in taste and what makes each oyster special in its own right.

Taste of Ireland Leisurely Lunch

Indulge in the freshest seafood from sea to SOLE during the Dublin Food and Drink Festival. With SOLE’s ‘Taste of Ireland’ seafood tower, you can indulge in the best fresh seafood from around Ireland including Howth smoked Irish Organic Salmon, classic prawn cocktail with Dublin Bay Prawns, a selection of Irish rock and native oysters, pan-roast Irish brown crab claws and Steamed West Cork mussels.  All served with freshly baked bread and a glass of Muscadet, the perfect option for a leisurely lunch!

We are very excited to be celebrating 13 years of FIRE Steakhouse & Bar this September! FIRE offers one of the best dining experiences in Dublin, with a unique setting, award-winning food and an outstanding professional service.

We would like the opportunity to thank you to each one of our wonderful FIRE customers, for supporting us for over the last 13 years! We wouldn’t be here without you all!

FIRE creates menus that focus on utilising fresh in-season produce to create dishes, bursting with a multitude of flavours. FIRE is firmly committed to supporting sustainable local Irish produce and only serve the finest selection of award-winning meats and produce that Ireland has to offer.

Read about FIRE history here.

To book a table – Click HERE.

T: + 353 (0) 1 676 7200


The team were delighted to look after the residents of The World for the 4th time in 8 years following a four night stay over in Dublin.

The World is the largest private residential ship on the planet and is home to only 165 Residences. Residents & Guests spend extensive time exploring the most exotic and well-traveled destinations, and return onboard to a lifestyle that exists nowhere else on earth.

We are delighted to release our video ‘Sea to SOLE’ today where our Executive Head Chef, Richie Wilson and Howth Fisherman, Cormac Ryan bring you on the incredible journey of our Irish lobster from Sea to SOLE. Watch below:

‘Sea to SOLE’ represents our ongoing passion with our supplier connections. Provenance is paramount in everything we do and the Irish lobster is an example of our local relationships, care and time put into selecting the best quality produce.

‘Sea to SOLE’ was shot on location in Howth Harbour with fisherman, Cormac Ryan and SOLE’s Executive Head Chef, Richie Wilson. About ‘Sea to SOLE’ video, Richie said:

“We are extremely proud to launch this tribute to our seafood partners including Cormac Ryan. We work really closely with our supply chain led by Kish Fish, to ensure when possible we are supporting the sustainability of the Irish fishing industry. SOLE Seafood & Grill provenance journey is built on loyalty, heritage and trust, and this continues to be an ongoing best practice at SOLE with high-quality in-season seafood to cater for a wide variety of palates.”


SOLE is open late six nights a week Monday to Saturday.

Monday to Thursday from 5 pm / Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm

To make a booking: click here.

T: +353 (0) 1544 2300


We are delighted to release the second video in our Farm to FIRE series, Barley to Beer! FIRE’s General Manager, Andrew Fisher, and Liam Hanlon from St. Mel’s Brewing Company take you on the journey of FIRE 1864 our exclusive Irish craft lager.

We are so proud to have worked with St.Mel’s brewery to create our very own Irish Craft lager, FIRE 1864.

St Mel’s are a small independent brewery established in Longford in 2013, producing 3,000,000 litres of beer per year for the Irish and exports market. St. Mel’s brew the highest quality beers from the best available ingredients in an all-natural, small batch process with no chemicals or preservatives.

FIRE 1864 was Lagered in a tank for six weeks this delicately balanced lager utilises a hopping process called ‘first wort hopping.’ This process lends the beer a fine bitterness balanced by the aroma of the noble Mittelfruh variety. The result is a light malt base contributing biscuit flavours mingles with hints of pear and lemon from the hops.

The name is derived from FIRE’s extensive history, the room in which FIRE Steakhouse Restaurant is now located is formally called the supper room and was first was built in 1864. The room, which was built on a budget of £1,500, was used as the supper room for the Lord Mayor initially, later it was used as a cultural centre. In 2005, the building became FIRE Steakhouse & Bar at The Mansion House. The building itself remains in the care of the state and the Lord Mayor is still in residence in the Mansion House who often comes to dine in ‘The Supper Room’.

FIRE 1864 is available on draught and by the bottle at FIRE daily.

The first cruise ship to ever be based in Dublin has arrived into port this summer. Celebrity Eclipse from Celebrity Cruises will bring 2,850 guests into the city each time a sailing starts from Dublin Port. In total, over 14,000 people will start their cruise holiday from Dublin on Celebrity Eclipse in 2018.

Each ‘turnaround’ by Celebrity Eclipse is estimated to be worth €1 million in knock-on economic benefits to the capital.

In order to facilitate the turn arounds, we were tasked with project managing the construction and fit out of the temporary embarkation and disembarkation facilities. Working with Big Space Solutions the 22,000 sq. foot Evolution structure is the first of its kind for Ireland.