The best place to begin your Dublin holiday is on O’Connell Street, which has a wealth of major Dublin attractions. The most famous attraction on O’Connell Street is, arguably, the GPO. It was from the portico of this building that an Irish Republic was first declared, in 1916. British forces – who begged to differ – fired shots that have left the building dotted with pockmarks to this day.
The GPO, which stands for General Post Office, is now used by tourists to send postcards home to serve as mementoes of their holiday. This building has been Dublin’s principal post office since 1818; but it will always be most famous for its brief role, in 1916, as the Headquarters of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Ireland.
During that year British and Irish soldiers were dying in fighting that stretched its way right across France. Most of the residents of Dublin greeted the sporadic shots that broke out in Dublin on the 24th of April 1916, with a sense of shock and bewilderment. However, whilst the Easter Rising would prove unsuccessful it provided the inspiration, the philosophy and the martyrs that would drive Ireland to independence within five years.
For the tourist a trip to this attraction will give a sense of how, in just one building, the history of a people can be galvanised to create a nation.
The history of Ireland is also represented in an attraction within the attraction of the GPO – the Cúchulainn statue. The Cú-Chulainn statue is a beautiful bronze statue of a mythical Irish hero who died bravely fighting his enemies. The story is told better on the plaque which is attached to the statue’s plinth:
The GPO in Dublin is unlike any other post office that I have been to in that it also holds live music sessions which area real treat for tourists and those doing business during a weekend trip to Dublin. Obviously the music has a relaxing traditional feel, with the harp being the most appropriate instrument of choice for use in a post office.