An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Panti Bliss at Government Buildings with An Post’s new ‘Bród’ stamps. Photos: Maxwells

Support groups to benefit from Pride and Bród stamp

An Post has issued two colourful new stamps featuring the words ‘Pride’ and ‘Bród’ in celebration of Ireland’s pride movement.

The stamps were developed with the help of representatives of the LGBT+ community.

An Post is expecting strong demand for the stamps in Ireland and globally as images of the Pride flag flying over the GPO in Dublin have featured heavily on social media across the world recently.

“We are delighted to join with our staff and customers in celebrating Bród and the Irish Pride Movement.

“An Post worked closely with LGBT+ representatives in planning these colourful and symbolic new stamps which mean so much to Irish people at home and across the world,” said An Post CEO David McRedmond.

He added: “Two hard working national LGBT support groups, BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland, will benefit from the sale of the stamps, in line with An Post’s purpose to work for the common good and to improve the quality of live now and for the generations to come.”

The Pride flag was originally designed by American artist and activist Gilbert Baker in 1978 to represent the diverse LGBT community.

Dating back to the Victorian era, homosexuality was a criminal offence and while the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York city did not create the Gay Rights movement, it did create solidarity within the community which in turn spurred on a new wave of political activism.

During the 1970s, an annual picnic was held in Dublin to create awareness of the Stonewall Riots and in 1974 a small group of ten people marched from St Stephen’s Green to the British Embassy to protest the criminalisation of homosexuality.

The first Pride Week in Ireland was organised by the National Gay Federation (NGF) in 1979 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall riots and to highlight the community’s persecution in Ireland.

Homosexuality was finally decriminalised in Ireland in 1993, followed five years later by the Employment Equality Act in 1998.

The Civil Partnership Act was passed in Ireland in 2010 and in 2015 Ireland became the first country to legalise Same Sex Marriage by legal vote.

The stamps are available from main post offices and online.

They come in a special booklet format priced at €6.40 and each contains a mix of four ‘N’ rate Pride and Bród stamps for posting across the island of Ireland, and one ‘W’ rate stamp for posting letters worldwide.

Pride lapel pins, t-shirts and framed stamps will also be available.