The General Post Office—a landmark building
The General Post Office (GPO), the headquarters of the Irish postal service, moved several times before finding its current place at the centre of Dublin’s O’Connell Street. At first the offices were located in buildings around College Green, but in August 1814, construction of a purpose-built headquarters began. The building was completed in January 1818, at a cost of £50,000.
The building was designed by Francis Johnston, an architect with the Board of Works, in Greek revival style. The main section was made with Wicklow granite and the portico, the roof structure over the entrance, of Portland stone.
The statues on the roof, by sculptor John Smyth, are of Hibernia, a classical representation in female form of the island of Ireland, with Fidelity to one side and Mercury (the messenger of the gods) to the other.
During the 1916 Rising, the GPO was one of three Dublin landmarks—the Four Courts and the Custom House being the others—to be destroyed in the fighting. The GPO was rebuilt and reopened in 1929.