Almost unique among the commercial stamp agencies, An Post offers picture post cards and postal cards for sale. Of course, this is An Post wearing its hat as a private company - something the government-run Post Office was not permitted to do. Probably the largest selling item are the annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. The number of cards issued depends on the subject, but 4 to 6 in a set are not unusual (Figure 1).
Nature is always an interesting area (Figure 2) - of course, no snakes. The Treasures in the Irish Museum are always work a look, (Figure 3) and easily relate to Patrick. Everyone liks steam trains (Figure 4) and narrow gauge railways pictures bring back memories. Adding a stamp bearing the same picture and a first day cancel makes it into a maximum card. (Figure 5). Did anyone say golf? It is probably the most popular participant sport in Ireland. (Figure 6) Horse racing is popular, but fortunately not for audience participation (Figure 7), although the “turf agents” get a workout carrying money to the bank. The movies are also popular, but are suffering from inroads from television and the internet. (Figure 8)
Who else would celebrate 150 years of postage stamps ? (Figure 9) There is no question of a connection when STAMPA, the national stamp show, get a plug. (Figure 10) . Is this blatant advertising? Most assuredly, yes ! An Post is in the business of selling Irish postally related items! And who better to send it to than a collector of Irish stamps.
Of course, othe civic events like the International Cartoon Festival is appropriate. (Figure 11) UNICEF is an agency that does much good in the world, and a card reminding people is worthwhile, (Figure 12)
The sea (Figure 13) is part of Ireland, as are the creatures in it. (Figure 14). This list goes on, and makes for interesting collecting.