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National Stamp (Centenary of the Birth of President Hillery)


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On April 27, we issue a special stamp to mark the centenary of the birth of Dr Patrick J Hillery (born May 2nd 1923) to acknowledge the important contribution made by one of Ireland’s most distinguished statesmen to Irish and European society.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Michael, Dr Hillery graduated as a medical doctor from UCD in 1947. Four years later, he was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD for Co.Clare. In 1959 he was appointed Minister for Education. He then served as Minister for Industry and Commerce (1965), Minister for Labour (1966) and Minister for External Affairs (later Foreign Affairs) in 1969.

In the latter role, he led the Irish negotiating team tasked with securing membership of the European Communities. Following a successful ‘yes’ vote for the referendum in 1972 and Ireland joining the Communities in 1973, Dr Hillery was appointed the state’s first European Commissioner. As one of five
Commission vice-presidents, he assumed special responsibility for Social Affairs.

In 1976, Dr Hillery became the sixth President of Ireland after he was unopposed, and he was inaugurated on December 3. He was re-appointed President of Ireland for a second term in 1983, once again unopposed.

Following a short illness in 2008, Dr Hillery died on 12 April.

Our special stamp image is based on a portrait of President Hillery by John F. Kelly, RHA.


Product code 2307N

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