Call to withdraw controversial Redmond stamp

A Labour TD has said that it was "wrong" of An Post to produce stamps commemorating John Redmond, as the Irish Parliamentary Party leader "promoted, recruited, and shamed Irishmen into killing for Great Britain".

Eamon Moloney said the stamps portraying the Irish leader as a cartoon character in a British recruitment poster should be withdrawn.

“It is indeed appropriate to remember and commemorate the thousands of Irish boys and men who were slaughtered during World War One,” Mr Moloney said. “But it is wrong for An Post to commemorate a politician who promoted, recruited and shamed Irishmen into killing for Great Britain.”

He said the 1914-1918 war is constantly referred to as the Great War.

“But, there was nothing great for the 200,000 Irish recruits who fought in it,” said Mr Moloney. “There was nothing great for the almost 50,000 young Irishmen who were slaughtered. An Post rightly deserve credit for producing a stamp commemorating those who died, but, the stamp commemorating Mr John Redmond MP who recruited these men into that awful war, should be withdrawn.”

It is the second time the postal company has been criticised for the use of Redmond’s image on stamps, though for very different reasons.

Former taoiseach John Bruton has said that, ahead of the centenary of the signing of Home Rule into law on September 18, 1914, Mr Redmond should get proper recognition for his achievement.

Last week, he said in this newspaper that “a distorted cartoon of John Redmond on a recruiting poster is not a commemoration of Home Rule, nor is it fair representation of the life’s work of this Irish patriot”.

“This stamp is, if anything, is a commemoration of the Great War, which is an entirely different matter from the difficult and long drawn-out parliamentary achievement of Home Rule,” Mr Bruton said.

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