An Post says there will ‘always be a post office’ in the GPO

Head of communications says GPO is ‘sardine-like’ with 950 people working there

The GPO on O’Connell Street, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The GPO on O’Connell Street, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

There will always be a post office in the GPO (General Post Office), An Post’s head of corporate communications Anna McHugh has said.

Her comments come amid plans to move the company’s headquarters elsewhere as part of a major overhaul of its operations.

“There has been a post office there since 1800. There will always will be a post office there,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

The company, which is grappling with a fundamental shift in its business as consumers migrate to digital communications, also said it plans to seek more than 250 voluntary redundancies.

As part of what it called a “work redesign programme,” An Post said it will explore alternative locations for its headquarters.

Currently it pays the Government a nominal or peppercorn rent for the O’Connell St lease but the costs of maintaining the 200 year-old listed building and staging post for the 1916 Rising are considerable.

A shortlist of options, including the refurbishment of the GPO office complex, last undertaken 35 years ago, will be drawn up as part of the process.

Ms McHugh explained that 950 people work from the GPO in behind the scenes sections such as customer care, IT, human resources, marketing and communications.

It is “sardine-like,” she said and it had been 35 years since any refurbishment had been carried out to the remainder of the building.

Considerable works have been carried out to the façade in recent years.

“The building was never intended for 950 people.

“We love our GPO, it is a magnificent building and a great location.”

The refurbishment will cost “tens of millions” as it is a listed building, she said.

An Post will have to look at every option, she added, and that includes moving its headquarters elsewhere.

“We have to look at every option and that includes having to look at the possibility of moving.”