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first issues > countries > ireland

Ireland (Eire)

17th February 1922

Europe 45

  Sc1 Sc68  

Description Year Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T#  
Overprints 15x17½mm in black or grey
½d green 1922 1 1      
other values 1d to 10d   2-8 2-9      
Dedicated issue
2d deep green 1922 68 74      
other values ½d to 1/- 1923 65-67, 69-76 71-73, 75-82      

The Scott Stamp Atlas [1] describes Ireland as an "[i]ndependent state since 1921 (previously part of Great Britain with the exception of six counties in Northern Ireland) …which remain British. In 1937 a Republican Constitution was proclaimed within the British Commonwealth of Nations but in 1949 the independent republic left the COmmonwealth. " The Irish Free State was renamed Eire in 1937.

The first stamps were GB issues overprinted "Provisional Government of Ireland " in Gaelic. The initial set of overprints was made by Dollard Ltd in black or grey and measuring 15x17½mm. There were other overprints later in 1912 in other colours and overprints by Harrison & Sons measuring 15¼x17mm and Alex Thom & Co. measuring 14½x16.
The first dedicated set was issued in 1922-23, the 2d value first and the other values in 1923. The map on the 2d stamp caused some controversy as it showed the whole island without distinguishing Northern Ireland.