An Post release St. Patrick’s Day stamp of Richard Harris

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‘Irish Abroad’ stamps tell story of emigration – paying tribute to Irish with international influence

An Post  issued five stamps on the subject of The Irish Abroad, highlighting the shared experiences of Irish people leaving Ireland for economic, cultural and humanitarian reasons.

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Designed by Irish company, ZeroG, three ‘N’ stamps for national postage and two ‘W’ stamps for worldwide postage explore the complex story of Irish emigration over the past two centuries.  They will add a very special dimension to cards, letters and parcels being posted to family and friends all over the world to mark St. Patrick’s Day 2020.

The new stamps are available in main post offices, at the GPO, Dublin and online at anpost.com/shop.

Three of the stamps feature common themes of emigration:

  • A photo of people gathering in ‘The Galtymore Dancehall’ in Cricklewood, London showing the importance of Irish Centres and Irish hubs to the emigrant community.
  • An image of suitcases at Dublin Airport (1969) capturing the common experience of people leaving Ireland.
  • A detail from the painting ‘Emigrants letter and envelope, 1988’ by Geraldine O’Reilly representing communication with home and the importance of staying in touch.

Two other ‘N’ stamps feature a gallery of Irish people who have made an impact on the world from the 1800s right up to the present, each of whom has emigrated and made a contribution in their own sphere of excellence:

Dame Kathleen Lonsdale (Scientist), Richard Harris (Actor) and Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (Musician)  and

Edna O’Brien (Author), Fr. Michael J Kelly (Priest/Aid Worker) and Mary Elmes (Humanitarian) featuring on another stamp.

Welcoming the release, Minister of State for the Diaspora, Mr. Ciarán Cannon T.D. said: “I am delighted to see the launch of this set of stamps which commemorate the Irish emigration experience, and honour the contributions of the global Irish diaspora.

Emigration has played a central role in Irish life for centuries, and there is scarcely a family on the island that has not been touched by it in some form. It is appropriate that this collection pays tribute both to the painful aspects of emigration – the separation, and the challenges of staying connected across great distances – but also to the many success stories of the Irish who settled in their new societies and thrived there.

As these stamps travel the world, they will tell the story of the extraordinary resilience of the global Irish who overcame great challenges and flourished in the new homes they made overseas.”