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Epic painting carries the stamp of history

20 February 2020

The War of Independence - Struggle for Sovereignty

An Post has today (February 20, 2020) issued a stamp to commemorate the War of Independence featuring the popular Seán Keating painting ‘Men of the South’.

The stamp and a First Day Cover envelope, featuring a contemporary photograph of IRA volunteers and a specially designed cancellation mark, are available from main post offices, the stamp counters at Dublin’s GPO and online at

The Irish War of Independence is generally accepted to have taken place between January 1919 and July 1921. The launch date of the stamp chosen as the effective midpoint of the War although violence extended before and after these dates. 

The stamp was designed by Ger Garland, and features a detail from ‘Men of the South’ by Seán Keating which portrays a ‘Flying Column’ of the IRA lying in wait to ambush British Crown forces. The image is courtesy of the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork And © Estate of Seán Keating, IVARO Dublin, 2020.