The Story of An Post

The Irish postal service has been helping people to keep in touch with family and friends for hundreds of years. Let’s go back to where it all began and see what’s changed.

The Start of Post in Ireland

Ireland’s first postal service started over 350 years ago! At first, only rich people and members of the government used it because it was very expensive. The mail was delivered by mail coach but because the roads were very bumpy and full of potholes, it took a very long time.

In 1840, the first stamp was made and it cost one penny. This wasn’t too expensive, so lots of people could afford to use the postal service. This was really great as it meant people who didn’t have much money could stay in touch with each other.

How An Post changed lives

Ireland was very poor in the olden days and many people had to go to other countries so they could find work. In those times, writing letters was the only way to stay in touch. Telephones or computers hadn’t even been invented back then - imagine that!

The Post Office really helped people to stay in touch even when they were thousands of miles apart. They also encouraged people to save money for a rainy day by setting up a savings bank. You can still save money with An Post today!

Fun Fact

Fun Fact

When Ireland was ruled by Britain, all the post boxes were red just like the ones you see in London! Once Ireland became independent from Britain, all the post boxes were painted green - the colour of Ireland.  But many of the older ones still have the English crown on their doors. See if you can spot the crown next time you pass the post box!

The history of the GPO

Activity

The history of the GPO quiz sheet