Irish Myths and Legends

On September 13, 2012, An Post issued four stamps depicting Irish Myths and Legends. The stamps feature The Children of Lir, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Cú Chulainn.

The Children of Lir tells the story fo the four children of King Lir, who as a result of a spell, were turned into white swans. When the spell was broken after 900 years, the swans turned back into four very old and frail human beings, who died shortly afterwards.

In Deirdre of the Sorrows, the King, Conor Mac Nessa vowed to marry Deirdre. However, Deirdre was in love with Naoise. Fearing the King, Naoise and Deirdre fled to Scotland. They were tricked into returning to Ireland, where the King had Naoise killed. Deirdre was heartbroken and later killed herself.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill was a renowned leader and warrior. While still a boy, he gained his wisdom by eating the Salmon of Knowledge. With this knowledge and wisdom he went on to become leader of the mighty Fianna.

Setanta gained his better-known name Cú Chulainn as a child after he killed Culann's fierce guard-dog in self-defence. He offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared. He thus became known as Cú Chulainn.

The stamps and first day cover are based on paintings by Fergus Lyons with typography and layout by Steve Simpson.


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