17th December

Irish Lights stamp of approval

Ireland's postal service, An Post, has issued four new stamps honouring the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The 72c stamps - a special first-day cover envelope and booklet - feature staff working on a buoy; a helicopter near Fanad Head Lighthouse; Irish Lights technology and their service vessel, Granuaile.

CIL stamps

"Irish Lights is delighted that these stamps reflect the innovative, modern-day navigation and maritime services that we provide around the island of Ireland, 365 days-of-the-year. Our staff work closely with local authorities, communities and marine industries, ensuring a vital safety service," remarked Yvonne Shields, chief executive.

The collection also showcases the agency's tourism initiative Great Lighthouses of Ireland, which offers visitors a unique opportunity to stay in or visit a lighthouse.

As well as maintaining more than 60 lighthouses around the island of Ireland, Irish Lights also provides and maintains specialist aids to navigation using advanced technology; protects the environment and suports the marine industry and coastal communities.

Hook Head Lighthouse, Co Wexford, is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. 5th century monks of Rinn Dubháin lit a beacon at Hook Head to guide shipping and were subsequently enrolled as 'lighthouse keepers' tending the tower until 1641.

Designed by Vermillion Design, Dublin, the stamps can be viewed and purchased at all main post office and online at www.irishstamps.ie

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