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Postcards from the edge: History shouldn’t be lost in the post

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Mary Kenny makes a plea for Ireland’s streets to preserve some remains of a British past

At a time when statues and monuments from the past seem to be in danger of being pulled down, I have sometimes feared for Ireland’s heritage of old postboxes which still feature the monarchical crests of Victoria, Edward VII and George V.  For some time, Sinn Fein has expressed its intention of having these embellishments scraped off the traditional postbox, originally painted red but, since the establishment of the Irish state, repainted in green. It was Anthony Trollope, the novelist, who brought the postbox to Ireland in the 1840s, when he ran the Royal Mail services, initially from the banks of the Shannon. It was an innovation of immense benefit to the public, ensuring that the mail was safe, secure and swift. Even up to the 1940s, Trollope’s postal legacy endured, and there were four postal deliveries a day in Dublin. My grandmother in County Galway wrote daily to my...


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