Ireland:Eighth Definitive Series- Leaders and Icons

irish definitive stampsDate of Issue:21 January 2016

Leaders and Icons strip of 4 features seven leaders. Thomas J. Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, Patrick H. Pearse, Éamonn Ceannt, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett signed the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. The Irish Republic flag completes this category of four stamps.

The category, Participants, highlights the breadth of forces involved in the fighting. Dublin Metropolitan Police Constable James O’Brien and rebel Sean Connolly became the Rising’s first two fatalities. The image of the Malone brothers demonstrates the complexity of Irish identities and responses to the war and the Rising. Lieutenant Michael Malone fought with the Irish Volunteers and was killed during the battle of Mount Street Bridge. His brother, Sergeant William Malone, of the 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in the battle of Ypres, in May 1915. Dr Kathleen Lynn and Elizabeth O’Farrell represent the role played by female combatants. Dr Lynn was a medical campaigner and suffragist, and an officer with the Irish Citizen Army. Cumann na mBan member, Elizabeth O’Farrell, played a prominent role in the general surrender. Emphasising the role of the rank-and-file, the image featuring Jack Doyle and Tom McGrath is one of only two surviving photographs of the rebels taken inside the GPO during Easter Week.

Easter Week includes stamps featuring a detail from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and incorporates the wider civilian experiences. John F (Seán) Foster, was among the youngest of the forty children killed during Easter Week. Louisa Nolan risked her life tending to the wounded at the battle of Mount Street Bridge. Sir Francis Fletcher-Vane and Francis Sheehy-Skeffington relates to one of the most infamous incidents of the rebellion, the killing of several civilians, including Sheehy-Skeffington, on the orders of Captain J. C. Bowen-Colthurst.

The category, The Aftermath, focuses on the consequences of the Rising. The GPO Sackville Street features the most iconic location of the Easter Rising. Children gathering timber for firewood demonstrates how ordinary people were caught up in the events of Easter Week and also illustrates the poverty of the era. The image of two unidentified Prisoners highlights the role of rebels from ordinary backgrounds. Sixteen of the most prominent rebels were singled out for execution in the aftermath of the rebellion, including former member of the British consular service, Roger Casement, who had previously won international recognition as a result of his humanitarian work in the Belgian Congo and South America.

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