GPO Witness History red postbox campaign
21 March 2016
Dublin’s streetscape turns red today at selected locations around the capital for An Post’s “GPO Witness History” campaign, a major new 1916 centenary initiative which turns back time to tell the story of the Rising from the unique perspective of local, heritage postboxes that stood in silent witness to the dramatic events of the time – and ever since.
Located at The Royal College of Surgeons, St Stephen’s Green; Grafton Street; Liberty Hall; Dun Laoghaire pier and Mount Street - with more to follow in days at Haddington Road; the Four Courts; O’Connell Street and the GPO, An Post’s Witness History postboxes have been re-painted red to reflect their colour in 1916. (*1)
Each tells its own story of heroism, valour, heartbreak and fate. For a free and fully immersive experience, members of the public are invited to FREETEXT a keyword featured on their chosen postbox before receiving a video link on their smartphone. This plays a specially commissioned short video of the events that took place at the exact spot in which they’re standing. A question posed at the end of each video further engages the viewer with the story they have just witnessed. In addition, details are also provided of how to use your smartphone to book for the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, one of the State’s 2016 ‘Permanent Reminder’ projects which is already being spoken of as a highlight of the centenary celebrations.
Developed by An Post in association with Target McConnells, historian Mick O’Farrell consulted on the postbox campaign.
According to An Post spokesperson, Anna McHugh: “The “Witness History” postbox campaign is a new way of telling the story of the 1916 Rising. A narrative of passion, commitment and belief blends with the personal stories of those involved in the unfolding events of the Rising and how their lives were impacted as a result. While names such as James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett will be familiar to many of us, we are also seizing this opportunity to share the lesser known stories such as that of the extraordinary Margaret Skinnider who valiantly defended her rebel position from the Royal College of Surgeons”.
“Fully funded by An Post and free of charge, our ambition is to give people of all ages - including visitors from abroad - a once in a lifetime experience by bringing them closer to the streets of 1916 in a way that vividly illustrates an important part of our history and those silent servants of the state, the postboxes, who bore witness,” she added.
Launched today, Monday, March 21, the campaign continues until May.
(*1) Postboxes will remain as full working postboxes throughout with regular scheduled collection and clearing in accordance with LTOPs as advertised on the postbox noticeplate.