The GPO: Two Hundred Years of History

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Work began on constructing a new General Post Office building in what was then Sackville Street in 1814. In the 200 years that have passed since then the building has been witness to, and in many cases host to, some of the most dramatic events this country has ever seen. Ferguson details the story of the building and the evolution of the postal service in Ireland, the great upheaval of the 1916 Rising and all that followed, and the GPO's place as the communications hub of the country, with radio broadcasting spreading a touch of excitement, glamour and celebrity throughout the fledgling state. As well as the great historical events, the GPO has been part of individual joys and tragedies in the lives of the people of the city over the two centuries. Behind its imposing institutional facade there are many stories of ordinary lives, loves, scandals and intrigue, particularly as the building was home to several of the staff in its early years. Post-independence, the GPO has developed a symbolic status, sometimes controversial, as a talisman of freedom and a place for both commemoration and protest.

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Stephen Ferguson

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