KNOWN as “the man who built Washington” John McShain left a wonderful legacy in Killarney with his former residence, Killarney House, due to open to the public next month. Yesterday, Mr McShain’s grandnephew, John McShain Junior, and his wife Cindy, were given a private tour of Killarney House & Gardens, by Killarney House general manager Pat Dawson and caretaker Harry O’Donoghue, whose family served the previous owners of the house, the Earls of Kenmare as well as the McShains.

The couple, who were on a visit to Ireland from Tennessee, were hugely impressed with the newly refurbished house and gardens.

John McShain was instrumental in the construction of The Pentagon, the Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress annexe and Washington National Airport, as well as the 1949–52 reconstruction of the White House. Mr McShain also built the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York.

John McShain Junior and Cindy McShain were on a tour of Ireland with friends and were delighted to get a preview guided tour of Killarney House. “John was hugely impressed with the restoration of Killarney House and the recreation of the Gardens,” said general manager Pat Dawson.

Mr McShain said his cousin, Sr Pauline McShain, the only child of John and Mary McShain, will be thrilled when he tells her of what has been achieved at the family’s former home. “It was an honour and a privilege to meet John and Cindy and to be able to thank the McShain family personally for its generosity in making so much of the Killarney Estate available to the public,” said Mr Dawson.

The Killarney House and Gardens general manager asked the couple to pass on his best wishes to Sr Pauline McShain on behalf of the staff of Killarney National Park and the people of Killarney.

Above: John McShain Jnr, grandnephew of the late John McShain, of Killarney House and Gardens, paid a private visit to Killarney House and Gardens, with his wife Cindy McShain, while on holiday with friends. They are pictured with Pat Dawson, general manager, Killarney House and Gardens, and Harry O’Donoghue, caretaker. PICTURE: VALERIE O’SULLIVAN