Port Laoise, County Laois

This is the post office at Port Laoise.


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Portarlington, County Laois

I was in Portarlington in County Laois today. The Post Office is unusual as there is no Irish signs. I am curious about this.


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Kildare, County Kildare

The post office in Kildare Town is inside a small shopping mall.


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Hail To The Chump

A great postcard from my friend, Shelby in California.

Trump Trump2


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SOAR Stamps: The New Postmarks?

imageAs Irish mail is taken to Mail Sorting Centres, it has meant that collecting the postmarks of Irish towns and villages is now pretty pointless.

There are maybe 1,400 post offices in the Republic of Ireland. Each one has a unique four digit number which is shown on the  Stamps-on-a-Roll (SOAR) issued at counters.

SOAR stamps have been issued for some years and include the Marine and Animal series (updated on an annual basis),  Christmas stamps, Easter Rising stamps and the most recent (2017) Historic Objects.

The stamps are often issued in unusual values.

The Mute Swan stamp was sold in the General Post Office in Dublin (the first four digits are 0235). It was #316 on the Roll. The 22cents value (well below postal rates) indicate that it was sold to “top up” a stamp already purchased.

The Goldfinch stamp was sold in Derradda, County Leitrim (5160) a very small post office.

I now have about one hundred different post offices in my collection.



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New Issues 2017: Part Five

On Thursday 4th May, two Europa stamps were issued. The theme was Castles and the stamps featured Dublin Castle and King John’s Castle, Limerick.

I bought a mint set on Friday. And a second set which I sent to myself was delivered today.


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I Joined Irish Philatelic Circle

Last week on this Blog, I stated that I could not join a Stamp Club/Society. And on Sunday…I joined the Irish Philatelic Circle.

What made me change my mind ? Well on Saturday, I attended a Stamp Postcard/Fair in Belfast and was invited by the President of IPC annual meeting on Sunday.

I attended the afternoon session…an auction. I bought a few items. And everyone was very friendly. But we are mostly old men. Indeed next week, I will be 65 years old.

I was a member of IPC for about three years in the 1980s. I never really enjoyed being a member. I always felt comparatively young and inexperienced.

Membership always seemed to be a luxury. Now I think it is a luxury for collectors NOT to be a member of a Club/Society. The hobby is dying. And we  MUST do something. I am not sure how we can fight back but doing nothing is not an option.

To borrow a phrase from another context. “Now is the time for every good Stamp Collector to come to the aid of his/her hobby”.

In his excellent Blog, Romanian reader, “Timbrefil” has some suggestions for getting new blood into the hobby.

We have lost an entire generation. There are few collectors in their 30s and 40s and connecting with even younger folks will be very difficult.

Old Men…like me…might call ourselves “philatelists” but we all started off as “stamp collectors”. Essentially these are two different hobbies. But I think the first priority is to connect these two hobbies.

Non-collectors cannot be expected to understand or share the urge to collect….whether stamps, postcards, coins, autographs. But other collectors understand kindred spirits in other hobbies. So in the context of Stamp Collecting, we must build bridges to the Postcard Collectors. A different but related hobby of course but it seems to be enjoying some good years thru the Internet and initiatives such as PostCrossing.

It is not just about “collecting”. Nor is it just about the dubious concept of “investment”. I am a nerd but I am not a speculator. Our image is a stereotype.

Much of what we do is about preservation and conservation. Stamps need to be preserved as much as much as ancient works of art.

Perhaps we should stop seeing ourselves as nerds and start seeing ourselves as “action heroes”. Perhaps I am not like Dr Sheldon Cooper. Perhaps I am like….Indiana Jones.

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