The post office on Usher’s Quay is still in operation, though it looks like it’s trapped in amber. Its shopfront is in fresh An Post green, below three upper storeys of brick with a ghost sign for Anderson Furniture, and the peeling building number covers an older, faded ‘5’. The rhombus lattice of the screens inside the windows add to the thoroughly old-fashioned look.

Along with the well-maintained shopfront, the highlight is the sign, written in Irish in sean-scríobh (‘old writing’). It’s perfectly guessable for anyone who knows a bit of Irish but can’t read the script* – OIFIG AN PHOIST (‘post office’) crops up a lot when you’re learning basic sentences and pretending we all live in Busytown – but the dot (buailte) above the ‘p’ makes the letter a ‘ph’ (lenition!) and there’s that gorgeous, distinctive ‘g’ too. Familiar or unfamiliar, it’s rarely in use in Dublin, and it’s lovely to see it in the wild.


* I think we learned it in school, but since we also learned to play the bodhrán, I doubt that’s normal.

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