The General Post Office - O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 53° 20.964 W 006° 15.622
29U E 682350 N 5914638
Quick Description: Building of the Post Office started in 1814 and, during the Easter Rising of 1916, it was destroyed and re-opened in 1929. This is a magnificent building on the west side of O'Connell Street.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Date Posted: 12/10/2012 12:19:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMFX0D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 30

Long Description:

The Tourist Information Dublin website [visit link] tells us:

"The General Post Office (locally referred to as The GPO) ("Ard-Oifig an Phoist" in Irish) in Dublin is the headquarters of the Irish postal service, An Post. Normal post office services are still available in the building. A historic landmark situated in the centre of O'Connell Street, the GPO is one of Ireland's most famous buildings, and was the last of the great Georgian public buildings erected in the capital.

Construction of the purpose built offices began in August 1814, and was completed in January 1818, at a cost of £50,000.

The building was designed by architect Francis Johnston in Greek revival style. The main section was made using Wicklow granite and the portico of Portland stone.

The statues on the roof, by sculptor John Smyth, are of Hibernia, a classical representation in female form of the island of Ireland, with Fidelity to one side and Mercury to the other.

During the 1916 Easter Rising, the GPO was one of three Dublin landmarks to be destroyed in the fighting. The GPO was rebuilt and reopened in 1929.

The 1916 Proclamation is one of the most important documents of modern Irish history. Shortly before mid-day on Easter Monday, Padraig Pearse, standing outside the GPO, read out the Proclamation declaring Ireland a sovereign and independent Republic. Copies were then pasted up on buildings around the city centre.

An Post's copy is one of the few to have survived the turmoil of that Easter Week and the passage of nearly a century. It is now on public display in the An Post Museum."

The Irish Post website [visit link] tells us about post in Ireland:

"Before cheap postage in 1840, the Post Office in Ireland mainly served the wealthy, the educated and the State itself. With increased literacy and railway transport, however, the post became something open to and appreciated by all.

Its services expanded greatly during Victorian times as it became the principal administrative arm of Government. It maintained a precious link with emigrants, helped people save and send money and brought the wonders of the telegraph and later the telephone to isolated, rural communities.

By the mid twentieth century, the friendly postmistress and the weather-beaten postman were firmly established as the State’s caring face within local communities. Preserving this tradition of service, whilst making use of the best that modern technology can offer, is An Post’s aim today.

The special role of the post office in a local community is told in Gerry Kearney’s lovely family history – The Taylor Family of Ardrahan Post Office: A History 1837-2012."

The Post Office also has a museum and the website [visit link] tells us:

"Situated in a corner of Dublin's GPO, The An Post Museum houses the exhibition - Letters, Lives & Liberty.

The exhibition explores the influence of the Post Office in Ireland and offers an insight into the role played by Post Office people in the development of Irish society over many years. From stamps and stamp collecting to An Post's copy of the 1916 Proclamation and the little known story of the staff who were actually in the GPO on Easter Monday, the exhibition is a unique way to learn about the importance of the Post Office in Irish life.
The Letters, Lives and Liberty exhibition has lots to offer visitors interested in Irish history and for those who wish to learn more about Dublin and Ireland.

There are short documentaries that detail the local history of Dublin that show how the post office was involved socio-political matters and there are other documentaries detailing the ways in which transport and technology has changed business and everyday life.

The GPO is not only the headquarters of the post office in Ireland, it is the birthplace of Irish communications. On Easter Monday 23 April 1916 it became a key positional point for the rebels during the Rising. Inside in the An Post Museum there is a copy of the Proclamation and a short film telling the story of what happened in the GPO's telegraphroom on the afternoon of its capture.

State/Territory: Dublin, Ireland

Post Office Type: General

Historical Significance: Speech at the Easter Rising in 1916

Current use: Post Office

Zip Code: Not listed

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