Green Irish Post Boxes or Mail Boxes

I miss Ireland’s lovely green post boxes.  Found dotted around city streets and village roads, built into country walls, attached to telephone poles, and sometimes located right in the middle of nowhere, they are often charming, picturesque antiques.

Irish Post Box In The Rosses, Co. Donegal

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Mail boxes are called post boxes across the pond, or sometimes we refer to them as letter boxes. The Irish version is very similar to the English post box, which is red.

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When Ireland gained her independence from Britain in the 1920’s, the new state inherited many post boxes embossed with a royal crown.  Rather than build new boxes, the Irish merely covered them up with a coat of green paint.

Irish Post Box Near Maum, Co. Galway

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To this day mail boxes marked VR for Queen Victoria and ER for Edward VII can be found around the country.

Edward VII Post box Near Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon – © Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License.

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Any tourist searching for a post office may have difficulty.  Post offices are named using their Irish or Gaelic title.  “Oifig An Phoist” is proudly displayed on shop fronts throughout Ireland.

© Copyright Kenneth Allen and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License.

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I love how the stone facing on this building is painted green on the lower post office section and maroon on the upper floor.

A few years past, I was watching a Baby Einstien DVD with my triplets. Out of the blue I noticed a quick vignette, showing someone mailing a letter in a lovely green mail box. The scene was definitely filmed in Ireland. My heart skipped a beat, as I was filled with happy thoughts of home. It is amazing how the simplest moment can stir fond memories.

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It is not that I have anything against American mail boxes.  They are well-designed, functional mail receptacles.  It’s just that I always think an Irish mail box looks a little like a leprechaun’s hat.

I often wonder what will happen to all those letter boxes if people no longer send letters in the future.  I hope they never disappear, and are preserved for posterity.

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Every time I see one I smile.   I think of the wee folk whenever I pop a letter through the slot in an Irish post box. I make a little wish, that the letter may bring the recipient good fortune and blessings. Hopefully, a lucky letter with a little bit of leprechaun’s gold, will someday arrive for all my friends and family.

Who knows I may one day get an Irish letter telling me I have won the Prize Bonds, an Irish lottery system where each bond is entered in a monthly drawing for as long as the bond is held.

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I bought some Prize Bonds with my communion money nearly forty years ago.  Who knows, one day I may win.

Hopefully, some Irish luck will reach me here in America, spread through a green post box.

So next time you mail a letter, make a good luck wish for those you are contacting.  Letters should always bring love and friendship and a little bit of luck.


Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom