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Irish Postage Stamps

Richard M. Gahagan

My hobbies include philately (stamp collecting). I mostly collect Irish stamps which are rather straightforward as the Republic of Ireland is relatively young, winning their independence in 1922.

In 1922, as an interim measure, the provisional government of Ireland issued a series of "over printed" stamps. These overprints were made on contemporary British issues of King George V from 1912 - 1922. The only exception being of the 1935 re-issue of the high values which were made on re-engraved British stamps. For those interested in learning more about Irish overprinted stamps, please see Arwel Parry's excellent work titled Effects of the Partition of Ireland on the Postal Service (1920-1922). Also, the University of Notre Dame Library has a very nice discussion on Irish overprints on their web site. In addition, the Wolf Collection of the Notre Dame library contains many Irish stamps and related items.

The Irish commemorative stamps are quite interesting as they, to a large extent, depict the history of Ireland, her people, events and places. I highly recommend reviewing Jay M. Gregg's interesting treatise titled Postage Stamps Commemorating The Irish Struggle for Independence 1916-1923. His narrative is extremely well written and is a fascinating presentation of Irish history using stamps as his medium.

A very comprehensive bibliography of Irish philatelic literature is available on-line.

It is possible to subscribe to Irish new issues through the philatelic services of An Post, the Irish Post Office.



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