A MAJOR expansion of the GPO's exhibition centre is set to open in time for the centenary of the 1916 Rising after An Post was granted planning permission for the project.
The plans for an extended exhibition and interpretive centre will be the largest development since the GPO was rebuilt more than 80 years ago.
Under the plans, public access to the GPO's courtyard will be allowed for the first time.
The development will enable visitors to stroll around an outdoor sculpture garden.
"We know how much people enjoy coming into the GPO and would like access deeper into it. It's a whole new area of the GPO that will be opened to the public," An Post spokeswoman Anna McHugh said.
The overall development, called GPO: Witness History, is a key project for the country's 1916 Rising centenary celebrations.
The new centre will extend from the main public post office hall, incorporating most of the 770sqm inner courtyard and some offices at the rear.
It will house a permanent exhibition marking the centenary of the Easter rebellion.
The GPO will continue to operate as An Post's headquarters and flagship post office.
The integrity of the existing public hall and its "unique original 1929 features" will be retained, An Post said. It would not reveal the cost of the project, as it is about to go to tender.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte voiced their support. Planning approval was granted and construction is to start in summer. The project will be completed in time for Easter 2016.