Irish stamps recall 1918 Irish General Election

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17 October 2018
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An Post have issued a pair of 'Popular Democracy' stamps marking 100th anniversary of the 1918 General Election

The two stamps each celebrate a ground-breaking aspect of the 1918 Irish General Election: national self-determination and the rights of women.

The stamp featuring a portrait of suffragette and Irish nationalist Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington celebrates the breakthrough in rights for women seen at the 1918 Election, whilst the second stamp features political leader Éamon de Valera, who introduced the Constitution of Ireland.

Both stamps also feature an 'X' signifying the election ballot paper which citizens used to cast their vote.

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An accompanying First Day Cover (FDC) envelope portrays a black and white photograph of the 1st meeting of Dáil Éireann held in the Mansion House, January 21st, 1919 (Photo courtesy of the National Library).

The stamps were unveiled at an exhibition in Dáil Éireann marking the 100th anniversary of the parliamentary vote for women in Ireland.

The 1918 General Election is said to have set in motion events including the first Irish Parliament ‘Dáil Eireann,’ (1919) and the international recognition of an independent Irish state, the Irish Free State, in 1922.

The election marked the first time many Irish women could participate in the national vote. However, the legislative change in the UK Parliament, which was also adopted by Ireland, only granted women of property over the age of thirty the same voting rights as men.