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