January 30th, 2015

History through postage stamps – new issue by An Post


According to info received by FindYourStampsValue.com, the 50th Anniversary of an historic meeting between then Taoiseach Sean Lemass and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Terence O'Neill was marked by An Post with a new stamps issue. The 68c stamp, designed by Red&Grey Design of Dublin features an image of O'Neil and Lemass outside Government Buildings at Stormont. The philatelic item was released and put into circulation on the 22d of January.

The groundbreaking meeting took place in utmost secrecy in January 1965 and marked the first invitation to an Irish Taoiseach to take part in official talks with the Northern Ireland Prime Minister. The event was a brave venture in North-South relations and began a thaw in relations between the two states. A return visit took place in Dublin in February of that year.

Sean Lemass (1899 – 1971) was Taoiseach from 1959 until 1966 and one of the leading Irish political figures of the 20th century. His opposite number, Terence O’Neill, was a reforming Unionist leader and Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Both men shared a pragmatic approach which led to a level of engagement which would have been unthinkable in previous administrations.

The optimism that surrounded the historic meeting was short lived and events began to spiral out of control just four years later.

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