Withdraw John Redmond war stamp, says Labour TD
Eamonn Moloney says An Post wrong to commemorate Irish leader
Redmond features in two stamps issued recently by An Post
Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party John Redmond (left) with Irish nationalist politician John Dillon circa 1910. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The controversy over stamps featuring John Redmond took another twist today with a Labour TD Eamonn Moloney saying An Post was wrong to commemorate the Irish Party leader in the first place.
Former Fine Gael Taoiseach John Bruton has already criticised An Post for producing a stamp featuring a satirical cartoon of Redmond on a mock First World War recruitment poster.
Mr Maloney said today that An Post was wrong to produce a stamp commemorating Redmond and should immediately withdraw it.
“It is indeed appropriate to remember and commemorate the thousands of Irish boys and men who were slaughtered during World War One, but it is wrong for An Post to commemorate a politician who promoted, recruited and shamed Irishmen into killing for Great Britain.
“The 1914-1918 Word War is constantly referred to as the Great War. But, there was nothing great for the 200,000 Irish recruits who fought in it. There was nothing great for the almost 50,000 young Irishmen who were slaughtered,” said Mr Maloney.
He said An Post rightly deserved credit for producing a stamp commemorating those who died, but, the stamp commemorating Redmond who recruited these men into that war should be withdrawn.
An Post have produced two stamps featuring Redmond in recent months to coincide with the centenary of the enactment of the Home Bill and the outbreak of the Frist World War.
A 60c stamp released in May featured Redmond and the Ulster Unionist leader, Edward Carson.
The 68c cartoon stamp released a month later features the Irish leader as a cartoon character in a British recruitment poster.
Speaking at the Parnell summer school Mr Bruton described the stamp as unflattering and said that Redmond should get proper recognition for his achievement in getting the Home Rule Bill passed.
“I would have thought that if we want to look at the passage of 100 years of Home Rule next month something more constructive could have been found,” said Mr Bruton.
A spokesman for An Post said the stamps would not be withdrawn pointing out that recruitment posters “were the mass media of their day”. He said the Redmond stamps were part of a series of stamps commemorating the war and more would be issued in the coming years.