Moving Your Mail

In the past, the condition of roads varied a lot but even on a good road, travel by mail coach could be slow and sometimes dangerous. Ireland had its fair share of Highwaymen who robbed postmen and mail coaches and sometimes the mail had to be protected by armed guard. Items such as money, post bills and bank notes made robbing the post attractive to people who were poor and desparate. When railways came, the mail coach was gradually replaced throughout the country.

As an island Ireland relied on mail boats and steam ships to move mails and goods between countries. The ships on the Irish Sea were some of the fastest in the world. A lot of mail passed through Queenstown, now Cobh, in County Cork on its way to North America.

Train Travel

Mail coaches pulled by horses were first used to deliver the mail but because Ireland’s roads were in such a bad state, the journeys would take weeks and weeks.

This all changed when the first railway line was built in Ireland in 1834. Soon trains took over as the main form of transport and from 1891 to 1994, the Travelling Post Office was set up on trains all over the country. They could also sort the mail on the trains, making it a much safer and quicker way of delivering the mail.

But times have moved on and today, trains are no longer used to deliver the mail. Instead, trucks, vans and bikes collect and deliver it to homes and businesses all over the country.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

A long time ago, the person who received the letter from the postman had to pay for it. This meant that poor people could not afford to send and receive letters.  Also, the majority of people could not read or write at this time.

Thankfully, with the creation of the penny black stamp the postal system changed in 1840 and it was up to the sender to pay for the stamp – just like it is today!