When Brigid Reilly lived in Islandbridge in Dublin 8 and missed a parcel delivery from An Post, the slip she’d get would say she could pick it up in Dolphin’s Barn – about 2.4km away.

“Then we bought our house in Crumlin and I remember thinking, ‘Oh great, the post depot is just around the corner,’” Reilly said on Friday.

But it’s not. Residents of each Dublin postcode have their own delivery services unit where they go to pick up their packages – and hers had changed.

Reilly had now moved to Dublin 12. Instead of being a couple hundred metres away, her depot was about 2km off, on St Agnes Road.

So her treks to the depot continue, as they do for many Dublin residents, including those in Dublin 2, Dublin 4, Dublin 10 and Dublin 20, who it appears don’t even have a depot within their own postcodes anymore.

Sending someone from Ballsbridge to collect a parcel in East Wall looks to conflict with the goal of Dublin City Council and the national government of creating a 15-minute city, in which the services people need are within a walk or cycle of that distance.

But Dubliners may not need to make these treks at all. An Post offers services to help them avoid it, which many are unaware of – or, perhaps because of the difficulties of changing habits, choose not to use.


The problem is familiar: you’re not home when the person from An Post calls around to leave a parcel too big to put through your door or in your postbox, so instead they leave a slip saying they’ve been and gone.

It says you can go get the parcel at a depot. A spokesperson for An Post said “We have a delivery office (known as a DSU Delivery service unit) in every Dublin postal area. That office serves all the customers in a given area.”

He said he’d send a list of them if he could find one. He didn’t. He didn’t respond to a request to review a list compiled through Googling and help from people on social media.

However, the list, if it is correct, shows big gaps and long treks: especially for people walking. Dubliners say there is not a depot in each postcode, although there is a depot for each postcode.

For example, residents of Dublin 4 and Dublin 2 say they are sent to a depot on Ravensdale Road in Dublin 3.

Harun Šiljak lives on Richmond Street South, with an address in Dublin 2. When he moved in, his apartment didn’t have a buzzer at the door, and a couple of times parcels were returned to senders with notes saying there was no such address, he says.

His landlord refused to help, so he got a handyman to install a “placebo” buzzer for the apartment, says Šiljak. It doesn’t work so he never gets the delivery, but at least they put a slip through the door saying he can go pick it up.

And then he walks to East Wall to get it at the depot on Ravensdale Road, Šiljak says. “Usually it’s for a fairly large package too.”

People in Dublin 10 have to go to Holly Road in Dublin 12, a particularly awkward spot, says Aideen Blackwood.

Her depot used to be on Kylemore Road, which wasn’t great. But Holly Road is worse.

“You have to drive there,” Blackwood says. Walking, cycling or public transport are just not realistic options, she says.

Residents of Smithfield – Smithfielders? Smithfieldonians? Smithies? – do have a depot in their postcode, but Dublin 7 is kind of long and skinny and it’s in Bannow Road, up near the Broombridge Luas stop.

Residents of Dublin 1 have to go to Rutland Place, where, though reasonably convenient for Sara Stephens, who lives on Mountjoy Square, she can feel uneasy, she says.

It’s “an isolated alleyway, sometimes used by, what seems to be, people injecting”, she says. “In the winter I can’t go before or after work because I don’t feel safe when it is dark.”

Meeting Their Obligations?

The Commission for Communications Regulation has no legal remit over the locations of An Post’s delivery offices, a spokesperson said.

And there are no legal provisions in the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011 that relate to this, she said.

The regulator has, in the past, issued a “consultation decision” recommending that An Post make only one delivery attempt and then keep the parcel for a certain period at a spot where the recipient can go pick it up, the spokesperson said.

“Based on the decision above An Post is currently meeting these obligations with its current network of delivery offices in Dublin,” she said.

However, the regulator intends to review these issues and hold a “public re-consultation”, the spokesperson said. “The timeline has yet to be confirmed, however it is likely to be end of this year/start of next year.”

Better Ways

In any case, there’s really no need for most people to be making these long trips to the depots, said a spokesperson for An Post.

Fundamentally, he says, “when ordering for home delivery customers should consider if they will actually be at home to accept the item”.

If you can’t be home to accept it, you can have it sent somewhere else, like your local post office, for example, said the An Post spokesperson.

Tony Howard, general secretary for the Irish Postmasters’ Union, said local postmasters would be glad to help customers with this.

“I can confirm that there is a service open to customers to have parcels delivered to a nominated Post Office,” he said.

“As you probably know, our Postmasters are contractors and the size of their Post Offices can vary so it would be difficult if every single person in a geographical area arranged for parcels to be simultaneously delivered to their local Post Office,” Howard said.

“That being said, I am not aware of that issue ever having arisen and if a trend was noticed then the local Postmaster and An Post would work together to resolve that scenario,” he said.

If a person thinks they’ll be at home, and so gets the package sent there, and misses the delivery for some reason – there are still options aside from trudging out to the depot.

Each “Sorry we missed you” slip An Post leaves explains that the recipient can go online and arrange redelivery, either to the same address or another one, for free.

“I don’t think I really knew that existed,” said Blackwood, who lives in Dublin 10 and struggles to get to the Holly Road depot to get her packages.

Ed Galligan, who lives in Portobello, said he wasn’t aware of An Post’s option to deliver to a local post office.

“But they’ve generally been very flexible with me – where they say they’ll keep it for a week they actually hold it for many weeks, and if you can’t be in for a while (on holiday) they’ll do later redelivery,” he says.

“Stark contrast to the uncontactable private operators,” Galligan says. “An Post [is] the best.”

An Post is working to be flexible not only about the ways it delivers parcels to customers, but also in the ways it picks them up from customers, said a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

The government’s Climate Action Plan sets out an “Avoid-Shift-Improve” approach for reducing carbon emissions from the transport sector, he said.

“Developing services, communities, and infrastructure in such a manner as to AVOID the need to travel as much as we do today – wherever practicable – thereby forms a core pillar of the policies set out in our climate action plan,” the spokesperson said.

An Post now offers a parcel-collection service, where a customer can provide details online and their regular postperson will pick it up from their home, he said.

“Even if the customer is not at home, the postman or woman will pick up the item from an agreed ‘safe place’. These services will continue to expand and improve in line with new technology and ways of working,” he said.

It’s not clear, though, where on the An Post website this service can be found. An An Post spokesperson wasn’t able to point it out.

“Not sure about the pickup element [but] you can generate labels and buy postage from home and then post the item at a post office or Postpoint outlet,” he said, providing a link to the Click & Post service.

CORRECTION: This article was updated at 19.30 on 26 April 2023 to reflect that the Ravensdale Road delivery office is in Dublin 3, not Dublin 1.

Join the Conversation


  1. Couldn’t believe what I was reading. Good work generally folks and the article was funny.
    But this…
    “Residents of Dublin 1 have to go to Rutland Place, where, though reasonably convenient for Sara Stephens, who lives on Mountjoy Square, she can feel uneasy, she says.

    It’s “an isolated alleyway, sometimes used by, what seems to be, people injecting”, she says. “In the winter I can’t go before or after work because I don’t feel safe when it is dark.””

    Raised in Dublin 1 and environs.
    Totally in love with it. That depot is part of the geography of our neighbourhood. The whole dog-leg of a laneway is urban gold. Dublin 101. Hands off bogtrotters & various blow-ins!

    1. Thanks for flagging that, you’re right, of course. I’ve corrected it now. Apologies for the error!

  2. getting your parcels dropped at nearest post office sounds like a great idea, if your post office is somewhere near.. our local post office in Sandymount was closed couple years ago and now the closest one is in Ballsbridge on Shelbourne road what is about 1.5-2km far.. no way how to park there so you have to walk..

  3. As an employee of An Post, you can arrange to have your packages placed in a designated area, ie in the green bin, at the back door, leave with neighbour in number 4 etc but don’t order stuff, not be at home for the delivery and then give out about having to go collect it.

    1. Nonsense comment. If in ordering from Amazon or something, fine, they provide a delivery date.

      A lot of Irish businesses done though, so “delivery in 10 – 20 business days” gives you no clue as to when it will arrive. So it can be very hard to not order something unless you will he home, when you have no clue as to what week it will be delivered.

      1. Kind of missing my point! If you aren’t given an exact delivery date, you can arrange to have the item placed in a designated place if you aren’t home!

  4. I’m forced to shop online due to mobility issues. Last time postie didn’t even wait for me to answer the intercom or leave the green slip! Explained when I called to arrange redelivery. I was assured that the parcel would arrive next day. All I got was a back dated slip! Had to contact the supplier to sort it out.

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