FORERUNNERS – 1916 Era. [097]

About the time of the rising in Dublin in 1916, three Nationalist propaganda labels appeared. Two of these were re-issues of the 1908 Sinn Finn Celtic Cross and Hibernia with Wolfhound types with wide ad narrow crowns in the upper corners. (See ABC 95) (FIGURES 1 Broad Crown) (Figure 2 Narrow Crown).

A third is known as the Manchester Martyrs label of 1916. This consisted of portraits of Allen, Larkin and O’Brien with their names, one for each leaf of a large Shamrock, with harp at center. The words “GOD SAVE IRELAND” were underneath. The design was printed on paper colored in a tricolor of green, white and orange. (Figure 3).  This stamp was printed in un-severed pairs with the double green color at center. Thus they could be doubled around a pin and used as a small flag or lapel pin with full design showing on both sides. Some were used as stamps and, no doubt, some were used as flags; but the majority of them were seized and destroyed by the British. Reproductions and forgeries exist.

Another set, known as “Erie Puist” appeared about the same time as a sheet of eight with pictures of seven of the leaders of the 1916 Uprising, and the harp & shamrock. Undenominated, it is thought they originated in the United States. Note the spelling of Eire as Erie, possibly by an American not familiar with Gaelic. Figures 4 shows, L to R, Padraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, James Connolly and The O”Rahilly. Figure 5 shows Eamon deValera, Con Colbert, Eamon Ceannt, and the Harp and Shamrock. These were printed se tenant in sheets of 8 in a 4×2 format on gummed paper and roughly perforated 11.


“Stamps with an Irish Story”, Rev. Brennan, John, D.F. Newsletter, Vol.2.,No.17, Winter 1974.

Hibernian Handbook and Catalog of the Postage Stamps of Irelan d, Hamilton-Bowen, Roy, 2014.

The Revealer, Die Harfe, and the The Irish Philatelist have had numerous articles.

Thanks to Barney Clancy for the scans.\\