|The General Post Office (GPO), designed by Francis Johnson, is located in Dublin's O'Connell Street, is the headquarters of An Post, the Irish postal service. In 1916 it served as the headquarters of the leaders of the Easter Rising. |
During the Easter Rising, the building was extensively damaged and not repaired until the Irish Free State government took the task to itself. The building has remained a symbol of Ireland's nationalism and history. In commemoration of the failed Rising, a statue depicting the death of the mythical hero Cúchulainn is housed in the front of the building. This statue was featured on the Irish ten shilling coin of 1966 and on the "B Series" Irish pound £20 currency note. The original columns outside are still pocked with bullet-marks, as a testimony to its violent history.
Formerly Nelson's Pillar was in front of the building, however this was destroyed by the IRA in an explosion in 1966. The Spire of Dublin now takes a dominant position in front of the building. After a planning appeal and a High Court case, the Spire finally got the go ahead. It was erected between December 2002 and January 2003 to great public excitement.
The column to the memory of Nelson, which was one hundred and thirty-four feet high, was erected in 1808, the foundation stone having been laid by the Duke of Richmond, Lord Lieutenant, on the 5th of February in that year. William Wilkins of Norwich designed it, but the statue of Nelson is by an Irish sculptor, Thomas Kirk, R.H.A. Nelson's Pillar was erected by public subscription and cost £6,856. It was blown up in 1966 in the middle of the night, but the head of Nelson has been preserved by the Dublin Civic Museum.
The Dublin Spire is one hundred and twenty metres tall, making it by far the tallest structure in Dublin city centre. It is three metres wide at the base and tapers to a 15 centimentre wide beacon at the top. The top section is perforated and lit by small LEDs.