This book is the first complete history of the Irish Postal Service, which has been central to the daily lives of Irish people for over 300 years, and remains Ireland’s largest employer. From the early days of packet ships and mail coaches to the introduction of telegraph and telephone, the Post Office has played a vital part in national and international communications, distributing information to all parts of Ireland, managing the precious links between Ireland and its emigrants, and representing the faithful delivery of every thought, momentous or minor, that has been put to paper. With the introduction of the affordable postage stamp in 1840 came a revolution in Irish society – the distribution of information was no longer restricted to the wealthy; from this point onwards, the Irish Post Office would shape the daily lives of every Irish citizen and play an increasingly vital role in Irish history. At the heart of the book are the men and women whose fascinating stories and sympathetic characters have moulded the shape of the institution.Meticulous, bright and beautifully illustrated in colour, The Irish Post Office: An Illustrated History reveals the wonderful tradition of public service that has been central to the development of the Irish nation. From letters and parcels, to pensions, radio and the GPO itself – this history of the Irish Post Office reveals the story of our nation and its people in a unique and accessible way.