The residence was rented by the Irish Free State to the Vatican for use as the Apostolic Nunciature (papal embassy). The Lodge was vacated by the Papal Nuncio in the mid 1970s, when he moved to a new purpose-built nunciature on the Navan Road in Dublin. It was intended to turn the Lodge into a taoiseach's residence (residence of the prime minister of Ireland). But after some years' delay it was decided that the Lodge (in a politically unappealing Georgian style) was in too poor a state of repair to be converted and so was demolished.
A preservable mediaeval tower house was found to be at the centre of the demolished Georgian building. It has been restored, and as Ashtown Castle it is used as an interpretative centre. Tours of Áras an Uachtaráin (residence of the President of Ireland) begin from the centre every Saturday.