independent

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Redmond stamp marks his place in the national story

The new stamp marking the centenary of John Redmond’s death
The new stamp marking the centenary of John Redmond’s death

David Tucker

A new €1 stamp marking the centenary of the death of Wexford's John Redmond marks his place in the national story.

The stamp was unveiled by former Taoiseach John Bruton at a Centenary symposium on Redmond which opened at the National Gallery of Ireland last week.

Redmond, who died in 1918, was an Irish nationalist politician, barrister and member of parliament in the British House of Commons.

He is best remembered for his part in the passing of the Home Rule Bill in 1914, which would have delivered a devolved Parliament to Ireland, and also for his appeal to his fellow Irishmen to enlist to fight in the First World War.

The stamp, designed by Post Studio, features a portrait of Redmond by Sir John Lavery from the Hugh Lane gallery.

A First Day Cover (FDC) envelope produced to mark the occasion includes a photograph of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1916.

The stamp is available from main post offices, the stamp counters at Dublin's GPO and online at www.irishstamps.ie.

Redmond's appeal to the Irish Volunteers to also enlist caused a split in the movement; some 140,000 followed Redmond and formed the National Volunteers, while a minority of around 9,700 members remained as the original Irish Volunteers.

It was Redmond's belief that Imperial Germany's hegemony and military expansion threatened the freedom of Europe and participation in the war was Ireland's duty, having achieved future self-government.

But the war killed the Home Rule Bill and the next four years saw the end of Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party.

They were overhauled in the General Election of 1916 and wiped out completely in the election of 1918 held just nine months after Redmond's death.

Meanwhile, a major commemoration to mark the anniversary of Redmond's death in his hometown Wexford has still to be rescheduled after it was cancelled last weekend in the wake of Storm Emma and the snow which swept across the county.

Wexford People

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