providing time of their own— time mail was due in, time mail was due out and real time (today's clock).
I left the GPO with time on my mind, literally and figuratively. I recalled a reflective comment Ferguson made on our tour as we admired the technology in the museum. Ferguson pondered aloud, “How will new technology affect mail, correspondence, communication as we know it? Today, I write to you in an email or I text you. I probably won’t say what I might had I were to write a letter. Tere is certainly a loss of paper.”
It will be some time before we know technology’s effect on tradition. Until then, all we can hope is our creativity, like that of the quilters, and others’ interest, like that of this knowledgeable curator, continue the storytelling.
Letters, Lives & Liberty at the An Post Museum By Stephen Ferguson ISBN 9781872-228549
In this informative and beautifully illustrated book, we are brought on
a trip through Irish history as filtered through the Irish postal service. Irish Quilting has a copy of Letters, Lives & Liberty to give away to one lucky reader. Send a note or email with the word Letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or Irish Quilting, Freepost, Vilavita, Garrenstackle Lane, Bree, Enniscorthy, County Wexford,
Ireland by the 28 February 2012 deadline.
Te Easter Rising 1916 and the General Post Office, Dublin
It is highly appropriate that there should be a museum in the General Post Office (GPO). Its place in Irish history is firmly rooted in the epic, yet ultimately doomed, Easter Rising of 1916.
Te GPO, along with other prominent Dublin sites, was occupied by the Irish Republican insurgents on Monday 24 April 1916. Te rebel headquarters was located here along with Military Commander James Connolly and four other members of the Military Council: Patrick Pearse, Tom Clarke, Seán Mac Dermott and Joseph Plunkett.
After occupying the Post Office, volunteers hoisted two Republican flags and Pearse read a Proclamation of the Republic.
Contrary to popular misconception, there was little or no actual combat at the GPO, as
the British Forces under Brigadier General Lowe opted to bombard the building with shells fired from surrounding positions. Te beleaguered rebels scarcely fired a shot as they had “nothing to aim at”.
Te building ablaze, the rebel forces had little option than to tunnel out through walls and into 16 Moore Street, where on Saturday 29 April, they surrendered. Tus, the GPO was the only rebel base to be taken by force. All other bases surrendered on the orders of Pearse, who had assumed command from the badly injured Connolly.
Te damage sustained by the GPO during the British bombardment was not fully repaired until several years later under instructions from the Irish Free-State Government.
Visit the An Post Museum on Dublin's Culture Trail O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin 1. Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. www.anpost.ie