Express service was available on paymen of tthe Express Fee that was identical for both inland and foreign mail, except for a short period from April 1, 1981, to February 24, 1985, when there was a differential. On January 20, 1992, the Express service was abolished and replaced by Swiftpost, a trackable priority mail service that spans both the foreign and European Community postal rates: £2.00 for all international mail, inc. Great Britain (£1.00 - inland inc. Northern Ireland).
While the Express Fee only guaranteed Express service within Ireland to the point of departure (usually the Central Sorting Office, Dublin), destination countries often gave such mail their equivalent service, and sometimes applied their own cachets. Ireland, along with Great Britain applied vertical blue lines to the front and back on Express Mail items, but the large design Express label 'M.P. 459', initially a pink colour and later changed to red, seems makes the blue lines seem superfluous. Other countries do not apply this distinctive feature.
1925 - 31 March 1959
The 6d Express Fee may have started in 1922 but was certainly in effect from 1925 and is believed to be the longest running fee charged by the Irish Post Office.
Express Fee:- 6d
Total Fee Paid:- 1/9
Express letter weighing less than a half ounce from Cobh to U.S.A. BackstampCobh '21 AP 55' and New York, Port George 'APR 23 1955'.
1 June 1964 - 14 February 1971
Express Fee:- 1/6
Total Fee Paid:- 1/10
1965 Express letter weighing up to one ounce from Donnybrook '24 IX 65', from Dublin to London.
Postage 25p (for less than 20 grams) to U.S.A. plus 15p Express Fee •=• Total Paid 40p
Postage 46p (for less than 10 grams) to Canada plus 55p Express Fee •=• Total Paid £1.01
© 2005 ÉPA, Éire Philatelic Association
Last Update: 8 December 2005