An Post's new GPO Witness History Visitor Centre was opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, on March 25 as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.
One of seven Permanent Reminder legacy initiatives to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, the new immersive visitor attraction is one of the State's permanent 2016 ‘Reminder' projects for which the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provided funds of €7 million towards construction and fit out in the GPO's eastern inner courtyard. An Post provided a further €3m for initial enabling works such as cleaning and repairing facades, advance planning and marketing of the new Centre.
An Post GPO Witness History is an immersive, interactive visitor attraction bringing history to life though technology, video, sound and authentic artefacts. Its special effects, soundscapes and heartfelt stories of real people in extraordinary circumstances will captivate all age-groups - from the curious, young international visitor to the well-informed history buff - there's plenty to interest and engage individuals, families and touring groups.
The centre-piece of the exhibition area is an immersive, audiovisual experience which puts visitors right at the heart of the events of Easter Week, when the GPO was both the Rebels' military command centre and the seat of the Provisional Irish Government.
The courtyard area also features a specially commissioned memorial to the 40 children killed by gunfire during Easter Week 1916. Entitled ‘They are Of Us All', it was created by internationally renowned Dublin-based artist, Barbara Knezevic using polished steel and 40 pieces of black limestone which came from the ruins of Jacobs biscuit factory. Each stone represents a child.
An Post has appointed Shannon Heritage, who run many of Ireland's top visitor attractions to operate and manage the new Centre. GPO: Witness History will open every day from 09.00 - 17.30. Entrance is through the main GPO Public Post Office. Adult admission is €10, Child €5. Family tickets are priced from €25 and a range of discounts are available for Groups, Seniors and Students.
Click here to visit An Post's GPO: Witness History's website and for advance bookings (advised).