From mail coaches and Morse code to pillar boxes and the Proclamation, the GPO controlled communications for more than 200 years. As this postal walk reveals forgotten facets of Dublin’s history, learn about letters and telegrams, Mrs Draper, Sir Edward and other colourful characters that lived in the GPO and the vital role of postal staff in 1916.
Behind the building’s stern facade once lived some of the GPO’s staff – there was even a nursery for one family! Boys of fourteen would speed around the city with telegrams and postmen collect the mail from the trains and ships that connected Dublin with the world. The surrounding city streets display continuing signs of postal influence – local post offices and letter boxes bearing symbols of our imperial past – while other,older postal connections are now hidden or forgotten – the telephone exchange where the staff kept calls connected in 1916, printing houses where the first Irish stamps were printed and the GPO’s “secret room” where the odd bit of official spying happened!
START POINT: GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1