An Post boxes repainted royal red to mark 1916 Rising

Smartphone links will play short videos of Dublin events from 100 years ago

Some Dublin postboxes have turned red for the launch of the An Post GRO Witness History campaign. By texting a free number video stories from the 1916 Rising will appear on your smartphone. Here's what happens. Video: An Post


Ten post boxes in Dublin city have had their signature green colour repainted red for an An Post initiative to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The ‘GPO Witness History’ campaign will use post boxes at a number of landmark sites, in conjunction with free video links, to tell a series of stories about the events of one hundred years ago.

Located at Grafton Street, the Royal College of Surgeons, St Stephen’s Green, Liberty Hall, Dún Laoghaire pier and Mount Street, the post boxes have been re-painted red to reflect their colour in 1916.

Post boxes at Haddington Road, the Four Courts, O’Connell Street and the GPO itself will be added to the list in the coming days.

Members of the public may send a free text with a keyword featured on each post box in order to get a video link sent to their smartphone.

This will play a specially commissioned short video of events that took place during the Rising at the spot where they are standing.

The message will also provide details of how to book the GPO Witness History visitor centre – one of the State’s “Permanent Reminder” projects for the 1916 commemorations.

One video shot at the Royal College of Surgeons on the south side of the capital near Stephen’s Green features actor Andrea Farrell as the ‘rebel sniper’ Margaret Skinnider shooting from the rooftop at British troops in The Shelbourne Hotel as they advance on rebel positions.

Rebellion leader and Dublin Brigade commandant, James Connolly, features in another short film set on the day before the Rising began, talking to Michael Molloy, an Irish volunteer responsible for printing the Proclamation.

An Post spokeswoman Anna McHugh said the campaign was 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.

“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 post boxes, who bore witness,” Ms McHugh said.

The campaign was developed by An Post along with Target McConnells. Historian Mick O’Farrell consulted on the campaign.

Launched on Monday, the history campaign continues until May.