Volume 1, Number 3

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 3                                                                                                                             March, 1999

A periodic publication for the members of the Éire Philatelic Association, the Irish Airmail Society, the Irish Philatelic Circle and the Forschungs-und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Irland e.V. The newsletter will be e-mailed to all interested members.

Published and edited by Michael Connolly

ÉPA Chapter Meeting
Michael Connolly

The Commodore John Barry chapter of the ÉPA will hold its next meeting on Saturday, March 13, 1999, at 1:00 P.M. in conjunction with the New Jersey Stamp Expo at the Holiday Inn on Route 22 in Springfield, NJ.

Attendees are encouraged to gather at the show entrance by 11:45 A.M.for a pre-meeting lunch. The meeting will include a show-and-tell of postcards of Ireland. Please bring your favorites to share.

The Commodore John Barry chapter serves ÉPA members residing in the New York-New Jersey region and holds meetings four times a year. It’san active group with members also active in national ÉPA affairs. The chapter supports school stamp programs both in the States and in Ireland. Auctions held at meetings have run the gamut from rather ordinary common 
lots to quite extrensive and unusual.

Area ÉPA members are encouraged to attend and join the chapter.
Anycollectors visiting the NY-NJ area are welcome as well.

Phosphor comes to Ireland
Brian Warren

The following will only be of interest to some members but as An Post have yet to distribute the Christmas brochure and the stamps are out today I thought a note would be of use. 

As announced at Stampa, a new Integrated Mail Processor (IMP) has been introduced at the Dublin Mail Centre. First day of operational use was 9 November. Use is somewhat experimental at this stage and seemingly infrequent as phosphor stamps are neded for full operation.

The IMP is similar to equipment elsewhere incl UK and will automatically sort out large items for manual sorting from small envelopes. It will then face up the envelopes by picking out the stamp (by ref. to the phosphor) and cancel same with a new inkjet postmark similar to that used in Britain.

Two slogans have been seen to date – INTERNET (which is new) and the ALONE slogan. The quality is better but still does not match Swiss/French quality. I cannot attach an illustration but they are easily recognisable as the dater element includes a reference number and overall they are larger. Early use will be rare. Further details from John Lennon are set out below. 

The already established OCR machinery which puts a binary code series of lines on the back of the envelope is also part of the process. Members in USA will be familiar with them. The two are linked – see below.

From John Lennon who has only studied day 1 mail of ESB to date

There are three original OCR machines (2 from day 1 of DMC, 1 added later) with numbers 3889, 3990 and 3991.

There are two new machines (unless they have changed numbers) which have now appeared in relation to envelopes with the new IMP slogans – 3992 (machine 1) and 3993 (machine 2).

The number within the slogan town/dater element mirrors the OCR indent (in binary) on the back as follows:-

First digit (1 or 2) indicates machine 3992 and 3993 respectively – the OCR indent has the full number; next two digits is the time in half-hours beginning with 0 for midnight thro to 47; next 5 digits is the item number within the half-hour segment for that machine.

As a reminder re. OCR indent it is the MISSING spaces that are the relevant numbers 1,2,4,8,16,32. reading from left to right and ignoring the dividers.

Use on day 1:

It appears that machine 2 was put into use for 3/4 hr t mid day with the ALONE slogan. They appear to have stopped (for lunch ?) and later in the day (time ??) started up again with INTERNET slogan – hence ALONE is scarce.

Machine 1 introduced at 8 p.m. with Internet slogan.

per John highest number seen is just over 8,000 suggesting speeds of 16,000 per hour.

From examination of my own office mail only other date seen was 16th and I think the 10th is known.


Linked in with the above 6 new definitive sheet stamps with a yellow phosphor box were issued today 17 November. Values are 0p, 32p, 35p, 40p, 45p, 50p. They are printed by WALSALL (not ISSP). Later printings will be by ISSP (in 1999 ?) and presumably all values will be issued with phosphor in due course. ISSP to print phosphor booklet in new year. First ISSP phosphor printing willprobably be 199 Love stamps.

In addition there is a box of self adhesives by SNP with the usual 2 x 30p designs with phosphor. But no ISSP (As yet).

The Christmas stamps were also issued today but the ord sheet stamps are non phosphor. However the 20 stamp booklet of 30p stamps which is SNP printed (a first) is phosphor.

So keep your eyes open on mail from Ireland. Mail with both phos stamps and IMP postmark will be scarce until the Christmas booklets and sheet definitives with phosphor are in widespread circulation. Modern postal history in the making.

Irish Immigration Commem.First Day Ceremony
Dave Brennan

as published in The Emerald Postmark, the bulletin of the Commodore John Barry chapter of the ÉPA.

First day Ceremony, Joint Issue of the Irish Immigration Commemorative 

Joe Foley, Peter Bugg and myself attended the above ceremony last Friday, February 26, at the JFK Library in Boston. It was a truly memorable affair. His Eminence Bernard Cardinal Law gave the invocation and got the message across on the hardships endured by the Irish immigrants who emigrated to this country during the great famine in Ireland. It was well noted by all of the 
speakers of the contribution that the Irish made to our country in all walks of life. Unfortunately, Senators Kennedy and Kerry, along with William Henderson, Postmaster General, were unable to attend due to the snowstorm we had in Boston. Joe and I drove through the storm on Thursday afternoon and Peter and Jane Bugg provided shelter and great craic for the wekend.

The Honorable Stephen O’Connor, Chairman of AnPost, unveiled the Irish commemorative in this joint issue. It was with a great sense of pride to know that the efforts of the ÉPA along with the Ancient Order of Hibernians and many other Irish-American organizations that our quest for this issue came to a favorable closure. I ask everyone to please use this stamp on all of your 

Stan Challis

The Limerick sorting carriage ran from Limerick Junction to Limerick and v.v. in the period 1900 to 1918. Postmarks are not common, as is explained in the bible, ‘The Travelling Post Offices of Great Britain and Ireland’ by H.S. Wilson, published in 1996.

The author states that no examples of the UP stamps have been recorded and to quote ‘ …. probably due to the fact that there would be very little, if any, mail requiring cancelling on the short trip between Limerick Junction and Limerick’ .

An example (and I make no apologies for the lack of quality) of an UP postmark for 12th April 1915 has now been found and is attached.

The motto, as ever, is to check your postmarks thoroughly. This came from a page of Limerick postmarks I had bought some years ago and only came to light when I was looking to see if I had an example of the Limerick NPB (NewsPaper Branch). These too are scarce! 

Best wishes
Stan Challis

Two Irish Judges at Next A.G.M
Joe Foley

Pat Walker and Joe Foley, both past presidents of the Éire Philatelic Association and accredited international judges will be on the jury for The Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition (PNSE), site of our next AGM. They will be joined by Diane Boehret of Virginia, Rev. Charles Fitz of New Jersey and Thomas Mazza of New York.

The PNSE will be held on October 1 – 3, 1999 at a new venue, the Fort Washington Expo Center. The ÉPA’s Annual General Meeting promises a gala weekend of Celtic Philatelic celebration, presided over by none other than the president himself!

For information on the PNSE contact the show committee at Box 358, Broomall, PA 19008-0358. Information on the ÉPA’s AGM may be obtained from David J. Brennan, Box 704, Bernardsville, NJ 07924-0704.

Join the group and have a grand time!

Editorial statement:

In today’s cyber-age, its only fitting that we interact in cyberspace. I can’t see any reason why the members of our societies should not join in. More and more of our members are now accessing e-mail and the internet.

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Viewing of the newsletter will be available online from the ÉPA web page. 

Past issues will be archived and made available for online retrieval, again from the ÉPA web page.
@ E-mail requests for back issues will also be accepted.

Members are encouraged to contribute articles or bits of news to the newsletter. I believe that learned treatises belong in our society journals, where they can be shared with all members. I don’t feel that a newsletter should ever attempt to be a replacement for our journals.

“Newsy” bits would certainly interest me personally and would seem to be ideal for a newsletter such as this.

Requests for information and help with puzzling items can be submitted and, hopefully, some reader will have an answer.

Brief articles or informational pieces would also be welcome.

Submitting material can be done in a simple-to-use but high-tech way. Accessing the ÉPA web page, the member will click on a link, which will take them to an Article Entry Form. There they will submit articles to the newsletter, identifying themselves and inserting the text they want included.

If you only have e-mail access but no Web access, you can send e-mail to webmaster.

For those in the U.S.A., libraries providing access and free e-mail sites are proliferating. 
Members could access the Web even without home or office access to cyberspace.

Input from members can even come via our beloved snail-mail.

Submitters should understand that any material published in the newsletter would, automatically, become available for publication in our journals.