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Limerick GPO's mosaic tiles and façade will be removed despite people's objections

A member of the public said “to lose it would be a disservice to the memory of Limerick City’s daily life”.

Existing The existing design of GPO Limerick. Source: Limerick City and County Council

AN POST IS to remove part of the façade and black ceramic tiling on the front of the General Post Office in Limerick.

Limerick City and County Council approved the application to apply drastic changes to the historic building last Wednesday, despite objections from the public.

At the front of the post office is a narrow section of five timber swivel windows with a black faience tiled wall below them containing the letter openings, an historic clock and a harp motif. To the east is a recessed entrance porch with white mosaic floor and modern glazed doors, while a corresponding recessed section to the west contains some modern post boxes.

In An Post’s submission, it said that it wanted to remove the timber-framed façade, the ceramic and mosaic tiling finishes, and the stamp machine and post boxes. Part of this application has been granted.

New post office Source: Limerick City and County Council

It also wanted to put in new postal lockers that can be accessed from front footpath, install new inner illuminated signage and a new applied ceramic and stone finishes in line with new An Post branding, as well as outdoor exterior CCTV.

The lobby entrance and outside lighting will also be upgraded.

The application was submitted in April and approved last Wednesday by the council.

As part of submissions on the application, the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society said that the GPO “is a significant mid-twentieth century addition to the urban fabric of the area” of Newtown Pery, which is a “rich collection of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century buildings”. 

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes the façade as “a well-considered composition exemplifying the clean lines and the international style of its time”.

Members of the public also wrote in to say the refurbishment would be “wrong”.

“Please recognise that although to most citizens this building would not create much daily attention or praise, it would however cause much public alarm if it were to be removed.”

This Post Office has been and continues to be part of the City’s daily life. Most City citizens will have fond memories of using the Post Office as children with their parents and later as parents with their own children.

“To lose it would be a disservice to the memory of Limerick City’s daily life.”

Another objection from a member of the public said: “I believe a similar structure in Charleville is protected. I dread to think that the architectural character of Limerick City will be inferior to that of Charleville.”

Please preserve this fine piece of the heritage of our city centre.

Another person said: “For Limerick City Centre to become a more attractive place for people to live, work, shop and spend recreation time, it is important that the city centre preserve and showcase the best parts of its heritage.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, An Post said:

“An Post applied to Limerick City Council for permission to carry out works on the exterior of our Cecil Street post office, this was granted by the local authority.

All work will be carried out in accordance with the permission granted and with due care and sensitivity.

“The work will begin in the coming months but at this stage it is not possible to give an exact start time or schedule.”

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