29 August 2013: Launch of 1913 Commemorative Stamps

An Post produced a series of special edition stamps to mark the 1913 Lockout, and these are now on sale to the public. Political and trade union leaders joined this week to launch An Post’s three stamp set marking the centenary of the Lockout on 29 August.


The Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte TD, the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg, the president of SIPTU, Jack O’Connor, and others met at Dublin’s GPO to review material used in the final design of the 1913 commemorative stamps.


Speaking at the GPO, Minister Rabbitte said ‘An Post’s special and commemorative stamps have marked many of our country’s anniversaries and commemorations of national and international importance. I am very pleased to acknowledge that the three Lockout stamps unveiled today maintain the design standards we are accustomed to from An Post.  They will raise awareness locally, nationally and internationally of an event of considerable economic and political significance.  And I have no doubt but that we have more to look forward to in this decade of commemorations’.


David Begg noted that, ‘An Post’s stamps rightly recognise the key role played by Jim Larkin, James Connolly and Countess Markievicz in the events of the 1913 Lockout. They also capture pictorially the difficult day-to-day experiences of ordinary workers and their families at that time and their heroic determination to achieve decent treatment and fairness at work and, ultimately, radical social change and advancement. Critical to events of one hundred years ago was the right of workers to organise and to collectively bargain – an issue that has yet to be resolved, along with the timeless pursuit of decent work’.


Also present at the launch was renowned Irish designer, Ger Garland, who produced the stamps for An Post. The set makes use of original photographs from the 1913 era as a backdrop to three of the leading figures of the Lockout: Jim Larkin, James Connolly and Countess Markiewicz. The stamps feature photographs from the 1913 Dublin Housing Inquiry: Connolly is seen with the original ITGWU headquarters building in the background; Constance Markiewicz against a photograph of children outside tenement buildings in Chancery Lane (now Bride Street); and Jim Larkin against a photograph of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ riot which took place in Sackville (now O’Connell) Street outside the GPO on 31 August 1913.


The new stamps, as well as a specially produced booklet containing extra background information and stamps, may be viewed and purchased at http://www.irishstamps.ie/, at the GPO, and at main post offices.


To read The Irish Times’ supplement on the 1913 Lockout, Locked out, online, click here.


To visit the National Library’s online exhibition on the 1913 Lockout, click here.

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