GPO Witness History exhibition centre to open on March 29th
Ireland 2016 flagship programme will seek to interpret seminal event in Irish history
Aline FitzGerald, general manager of the An Post GPO Witness History visitor attraction and Barney Whelan, director of communications and corporate affairs for An Post, with Malachy McKenna and Niamh Ni Riain, staff members at GPO Witness History. Photograph: Alan Betson
The GPO Witness History is expected to attract 300,000 visitors a year, An Post has said.
Some 20,000 people have already bought prebooked tickets for what is the flagship project of Ireland 2016.
The €7.8 million development in the courtyard of the GPO will open on March 29th (Easter Tuesday), two days after the Rising centenary has taken place.
The centre can accommodate 400 people. The GPO Witness History exhibition will be a paid-for exhibition as it will not receive a public subsidy. Tickets will be €10 for adults and €7.50 for children. A family of four will cost €25.
The exhibition will stress the GPO as a witness to Irish history. There will also be a space in it for a commemoration gallery to examine interpretations of the Easter Rising. It will include a voiceover from former Irish Times journalist Kevin Myers, one of the biggest critics of the Rising.
Visitors will also be able to use lead type to print proclamations and bulletins. There will be interactive maps to route military dispatches to outposts, and morse code to proclaim the Irish Republic by radio. A pulley system lets visitors send messages across a barricaded street. They will be able to explore the living conditions of a wealthy child and a tenement child trapped in the crossfire.
The GPO will stress the context with the first World War as a backdrop.