The White House: Built by an Irish man, burned down by an Irish man!

A new "White House" is planned for Ireland as part of an ambitious entertainment complex in County Tipperary.

The Irish White House would form the center-piece of an $680m 800-acre development which would also include a concert venue, golf course, casino and racecourse.

The project - if given the green light - is expected to take three years to complete and is bound to provide a much-needed economic stimulus for Tipperary.

It seems entirely fitting that an replica should be built in Ireland given that the original White House was designed by an Irish man.

James Hoban, an emigrant from Kilkenny, designed the original building at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave after winning a competition organized by President George Washington in 1792.

He based his design of the White House on a famous Irish landmark; Leinster House (now the Irish parliament building) which was then an Anglo-Irish villa.

Of course, another Irish man, Major General Robert Ross from Rostrevor in County Down, burned the White House down as part of the war of 1812, but Hoban was asked back by then President James Madison to oversee the renovations.

The developers, who include horse trainer Aidan O'Brien, concert supremo Denis Desmond, former government minister Michael Lowry and amusement arcade tycoon Richard Quirke, plan to name the "Irish White House" the "Hoban Memorial" in honor of the Kilkenny emigrant.