Dublin General Post Office, a building full of history

Dublin General Post Office – Ard-Oifig an Phoist

The Dublin General Post Office (GPO; Irish: Ard-Oifig an Phoist) is the headquarters of An Post, the Irish Post Office, and Dublin’s principal post office. In the centre of O’Connell Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. It is one of Ireland’s most famous buildings. Accordingly, it was the last of the significant Georgian public buildings in the capital.

 Dublin General Post Office facade
Dublin General Post Office

During the Easter Rising of 1916, the Dublin General Post Office served as the headquarters of the uprising’s leaders. However, It was from outside this building on the 24th of April 1916, that Patrick Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

The building, destroyed in a fire in the course of the rebellion. Save for the granite facade, and not rebuilt until 1929, by the Irish Free State government. An original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, you can find it displayed in the museum at the GPO.

History

The General Post Office in Ireland was first located in High Street in Dublin moving to Fishamble Street in 1689. Afterwards, to Sycamore Alley in 1709. Then in 1755 to Bardin’s Chocolate House on the site where the Commercial Buildings used to be (now the Central Bank building) off Dame Street. Subsequently, removed to a larger house opposite the Bank of Ireland building on College Green. On 6 January 1818, the new post-office in Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) opened for business.

In Addition, during the Easter Rising of 1916, the GPO served as the headquarters of the uprising’s leaders. It was from outside this building on the 24th of April 1916, that Patrick Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Dublin General Post Office
General Post Office_Dublin GPO Easter Rising – 1916

The building remained a symbol of Irish nationalism

The museum was closed at the end of May 2015 and replaced by a new visitor centre to commemorate the 1916 Rising, ‘GPO Witness History’, in March 2016.

In commemoration of the Rising, a statue depicting the death of the mythical hero Cúchulainn sculpted by Oliver Sheppard in 1911 at the command post in the centre of the GPO main hall. Now housed in the front of the building.

The statue featured on the Irish ten shilling coin of 1966, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Rising. Accordingly, despite its fame as an iconic place of Irish freedom, ground rent for the GPO continued to English and American landlords until the 1980s.

You can visit the Dublin General Post Office from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is just a short 10-minute walk from the Dublin Citi Hotel.

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