Volume 5, Number 5

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 5                                                                                                                               May, 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

Phosphor and the IMP

(Editor’s note: Here are some follow-up notes to Brian Warren’s article “Phosphor Comes to Ireland” that appeared in the March, 1999, Vol.1, No.3 issue.  Brian’s article discussed the Integrated Mails Processor [IMP] )

Maurice Barrett
6 April 1999


A new IMP slogan from the DMC has been seen. It is worded: EURVOTE / 11 JUNE / EURFUTURE. 

The earliest date seen, for both machines 1 and 2 is 1 April 1999.  It is thought that this is the first day of use as the
“…..Return address…..” IMP slogan was seen used on 31 March 1999 at 11pm  from machine 1. 

The new slogan has been seen for machine 1 on 1, 2 and 3 April 1999 and for machine 2 on 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 April 1999. The “…..Return address…..” slogan has not been seen since 31 March 1999.



Maurice Barrett
12 April 1999

In follow up to my note of 6 April 1999, 
I can now report that the “…..Return address…..” slogan re-appeared on machine 1 on 9 April and has been used since then. 

“Eurvote…..” was used on machine 2 up to and including 10 April 1999. 

I do not know about machine 2 for 11 April but will keep you posted.



Maurice Barrett
21 April 1999

In follow up to my notes of 12 April 1999 and 6 April 1999, 
the “Eurvote…..” slogan is now back in use on both machines 1 and 2 and the “Return Address…..” is not in use.



(Editor’s note: Thanks, Maurice, for the fine follow-ups. Here now is what AnPost had to say about the IMP on its web site.

New Postmark follows Investments
05/Nov/98 11:09:17

People receiving stamped letters posted in the Greater Dublin Area in the coming weeks may notice a distinctive new postmark – the result of continuing major investment at the Dublin Mails Centre. New high-tech machinery being installed at the DMC will cancel stamps with a clear, clean mark which will also provide more information.

The sophisticated machinery is being introduced to deal with increasing mail volumes and will be fully operational in February. The new postmark will include the place, date and eventually the time of processing. It will also feature a unique serial number providing mail volume details. 

The Integrated Mails Processor (IMP), has the capacity to face all envelopes in the correct direction, check validity of stamp price, read the address and sort for despatch to its destination.

An Post Chief Executive John Hynes said An Post had been investing in the world�s most modern processing equipment to deal with mail volumes which had increased by almost 40 per cent in the past five years. With this new machinery, Dublin based staff would be able to complete in one manoeuvre, the processing of mail which up to now had involved a number of distinctive stages.

“The new state-of-the-art IMP will speed up processing and lead to an improved quality of service for our private and business customers,” Mr. Hynes said at the start of STAMPA, the national stamp exhibition at the RDS this (Thursday) evening (5 November 1998).

The new machinery which cost more than £5 million has been installed at the DMC which for the first nine months of this year has handled nearly 300 million items. Apart from a capacity to speed the sorting process, it has an additional facility to detect valid stamps by way of a special new phosphor element which is being introduced here later this month. This will bring Ireland into line with other postal administrations.

By detecting the phosphor in the stamps, the IMP will verify the correctness of the tariff and act as a security screen to protect against forgeries. Phosphor has been widely employed for mails processing purposes for more than 20 years by postal organisations in the UK, Holland, Hong, Kong Singapore and New Zealand.

Wanted to Buy – Dog License Stamps
Joe Foley

Can any of you help with the following?

Wanted: Irish Dog License stamps overprinted “SOUTHERN IRELAND” and overprinted in Gaelic “Rialtas Sealdac na heireann” Booth & Hall numbers S1, S2, F1, F1a & F2, also issues for Northern Ireland Booth & Hall numbers N1a, N1b, N2, N4, N5, N5a & N6. Mint, used and/or on document examples desired.
J. E. Foley, Box 183, Riva, MD 21140 (e-mail: jfoley4197@aol.com)

Many thanks,


1996 Motorcycle Issue
Padraig O’Shea

The 1996 Motorcycle issue was unusual in that the central Gutter Margin featured not alone the T96 logo, but also a Motor Cycle manufacturers logo.  In the case of the 50p value, eight of the gutter pairs featured different advertising logos.  Very few collectors were aware of this fact at the time and were happy with a single gutter pair.

No commemorative gutter pair collection can be regarded as complete without having a set of full strips.

A Mountcharles Cover
Stan Challis

When at the Stamp show in London in early March I picked up a pair of covers – see file attached. Both have the undated mark of Mountcharles in Co. Donegal at top left and both have somewhat ill stamps.  That addressed to
Dungloe is dated 4 December 1847, whilst that to Dublin was posted on 27 March 1845.

But (and I hope this comes out on the picture file) take a look at the cancellations on the stamps. That to Dungloe is canceled with a numeral ‘4’ and that to Dublin has the stamp canceled ‘176’.  Numeral cancellation ‘4’ was Ardara and ‘176’ was Donegal – these numbers taken from the ‘1844 list’.

Now for those of you that don’t know the area you will need to get the map out and find Donegal Town, go west along the north shore of Donegal Bay and after 5 miles you come to Mountcharles, proceed another 12 miles west, don’t go on to Killybegs, but turn north and after 9 miles you get to Ardara.  Dungloe is a further 23 miles (approx.) to the north.

Next, find the post office list for any date in the early 1840’s. You will find that Mountcharles is listed as a Penny Post, not to one Head Office, but to THREE – Donegal, Killybegs and Ardara. Only about 5 places are listed
as Penny Posts to three separate Head Offices, although quite a few have two Head Offices listed.

Later, after Penny Posts were officially delisted as such (1844 I think) those villages which had operated Penny Posts to more than one Head Office are shown as coming under more than one Head Office – a fact that had always confused me – how can a sub office (of whatever sort) have more than one master!

Look back at these two covers. The ‘Mountcharles/ Donegal’ postmark does to my mind indicate that Donegal (Donegal Town, as it is generally known) was the Head Office to which Mountcharles ‘reported’.  However Mountcharles made up separate bundles of letters (I won’t call them mailbags as clearly the volume would not have been sufficient) for the three Head Offices of Killybegs (yet to be found), Ardara and Donegal and the cancellation applied to the stamp depended on where the letter was going. Thus the Dublin letter (and other mail going south) was canceled at Donegal and that going north and west would have been canceled at Killybegs or Ardara as appropriate.

Clearly the ‘176’ of Donegal is much commoner on south bound mail, than the ‘4’ of Ardara as comparatively few items of mail would have gone to what was then and still to some extent remains a relatively remote area.

So, now I know how it was that some offices are listed as Penny Posts (and subsequently as Sub Offices) to more than one Head Office. What a nice little find!

Best wishes

Stan Challis 

Gibbons Stamp Monthly Article
Joe Foley

The March 1999 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly has part 5, the conclusion, of a series titled “Education, Postal History and Stamps” by W. A. Wiseman (pages 41-45). Included is a section subtitled “Irish education” which
illustrates a number of Official and OHMS covers. A copy of the article has been placed in the ÉPA library.

All the best,


A U.S. Stamp for Saint Patrick?
Dave Brennan

The American Irish-Celtic Stamp Committee has asked for our help to write to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, USPS, Rm 5301, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260.2420. 

The push this time is for a St. Patrick’s Day stamp.  Hopefully to depict the father of our country, George Washington, kneeling in prayer with his troops to honor St. Patrick. 

George Washington is recorded as having done this on two occasions, the first at Valley Forge, PA and again in Morristown, NJ, his headquarters, by ordering work to cease and the day be celebrated as a religious holiday. 

Every letter will help make this a reality.  Remember our past postmaster general Marvin Runyon wouldn’t give us the time of day, but the new postmaster, William Henderson, has been more receptive to our cause with the issuance of the “Irish Immigration Stamp”.


Irish-American Exchange Rates
Michael Connolly

I have noted over the years that the exchange rate between the Irish Punt and the U.S. Dollar varies seasonally during the year.  I first noted it back in 1979 during the planning and taking of a springtime trip to Ireland. 

Since then I have followed the exchange rate tables published in Linn’s Stamp News each week and have found that this is an annual cycle.  While the exchange rate may vary based on the strength or weakness of the respective currencies from year to year, there is a definite cycle during the year.

The most favorable rate for converting U.S. Dollars into Irish Punts is in the springtime.  For example, 
April 19, 1999, Irish Punt = 1.3691 US Dollars.

This could be useful for Yanks who have frequent transactions with Irish dealers and collectors.

Editorial statement:

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