What is the General Post Office Dublin?
The General Post Office in Dublin is the headquarters of the Post Office in Ireland.
For almost 200 years it has been located on O’Connell Street which was once called Sackville Street.
Prior to that the Post Office was situated near Dublin Castle but moved to High Street, Fownes Street (near Temple Bar) and College Green (now Abercrombie and Fitch). Each move to a bigger premises was due to the increased demand for services such as letter and parcel delivery.
In 1814 the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Whitworth purchased the site for £50,000 and laid the first foundation stone of the new GPO in Sackville Street. Sir Francis Johnston was commissioned to design the new GPO. In 1818 this beautiful building of neo-classical Georgian design opened its doors and did not cease in doing its business of serving the public until the Easter Rising 1916.
The GPO, as it is locally called, is a very famous building not only for its architecture but also for the important role it played in being the headquarters for the insurgents during the 1916 Easter Rising. For 6 days the Post Office was taken over where it ended up being heavily damaged by shelling and the fires that broke out in the City Centre. Many of the buildings in the area were destroyed during the fighting. The inside of the GPO suffered greatly and unfortunately many records were lost, but thankfully the façade of the building remained intact.
From 1916 to 1925 the GPO lay dormant and unused. It was decided by the Irish Free State Government that they would rebuild the GPO from the inside out and reopen it for business. In 1929 the GPO opened its doors once more for business.
As it stands today, the GPO is a wonderful mix of Georgian design blended with light touches of 1920’s style and is well worth a visit.
The GPO at one time was home to RTE Radio, which was stationed here until the 1970’s when it moved to Montrose in Donnybrook, County Dublin.
For more information about the GPO why not visit the An Post Museum website www.anpost.ie/heritage.