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General Post Office (The GPO), Dublin

The GPO sits as one of Dublin’s most identifiable landmarks and has been part of Dublin’s history for over 200 years.

Designed by Francis Johnson, the foundation stone was set in 1814 and it was completed in a short three years.

GPO in 1916

When the Easter Rebellion took place in 1916, the GPO was the headquarters for the Irish rebels. When we think about this it was an ideal location. Before the internet and phones became commonplace, everyone sent telegrams to get a fast form of message. The GPO was the central source of the telegram network for Ireland, so by capturing it, the rebels were able to seize control of the key communications network for the country.

The rebels raised the Irish flag and Padraig Pearse read aloud the Proclamation of the Irish Republic outside the building.

Unfortunately the British sent the Helga, a battleship up the Liffey and it blasted most of O’Connell Street to rubble. The GPO was almost destroyed, with just a facade and columns left to face a destroyed O’Connell Street. The building was eventually restored in 1929 when the Irish Free State was in place.

The GPO now

Nowadays the GPO serves as a busy city centre post office for anyone who needs its services. There’s a visitor centre and museum there for anyone who’d like to drop in and learn more.

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