Penny Post 1984!

We are all familiar with the Penny Black of 1840. Since then the cost of posting a letter has risen …but on 2nd January 1984, it was possible to post a letter for just one pence …in Ireland.

On 1st January 1984, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs ceased to be. It had been responsible for Ireland’s postal and telephone services since 1922. A state-owned company called An Post (simply “The Mail”) took on responsibility for postal services while Teilecom became responsible for phone services.

Before midnight, just before the chimes of New Year, An PostĀ announced that to celebrate the new company and as a gesture of goodwill to customers, it would be possible to post a letter to anywhere in Ireland …for just one Penny …on the first day of business.

For a northerner like myself, there was a certain confusion. Did this mean posting to the island of Ireland or merely to the Republic of Ireland? I phoned my friend Carol in Dublin, who found out that it did indeed mean ALL of Ireland.

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Carol kindly posted four envelopes to my family. A nice little souvenir.

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About John

Dia Duit! Hello. My name is John. I am retired. I live in Ireland. I am on a five year mission to visit every city, town, village and place of historic and scenic interest in Ireland.
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2 Responses to Penny Post 1984!

  1. Ruth Collins says:

    A very nice piece of philately!
    Do you know if all of Ireland was set up for the new stamps in 1840 or was it a gradual process with some areas not getting the new stamps until later in 1841?

    • johnjgmooney says:

      Thank you Ruth.
      Thats a very good question. I dont know the answer. I know that there are Penny Blacks posted in Dublin in 1840.
      At that stage Dublin was regarded as the Second City of the British Empire so I would guess that it would be available from an early stage.
      As far as I recall London was the first City to use the Penny Black, Bristol or Bath the second
      As some were actually used in error a few days before the official launch then I think most major cities…and that would have included Dublin. …would have had a supply.
      At 1840, I dont think there was widespread “home delivery”. As I understand it….mail was only delivered to “post towns”. I dont know if other post towns would have had a supply.
      As I understand it….and I might be wrong….The Penny Post came before a big rise in the number of post offices and employees.
      It is a tragedy that so many small post offices are closing.
      It will have a huge SOCIAL cost.

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