Maureen O’Hara one of five great Irish women to be commemorated for International Women’s Day

International Women's Day stamps

Hollywood legend Maureen O’Hara joins a selection of great Irish women in being commemorated in a new series of stamps.

An Post has launched the collection in celebration of International Women’s Day.

O’Hara is one of five pioneering Irish women to feature in the new stamps, along with Carmel Snow, Lilian Bland, Maeve Kyle and Sarah Purser.

International Women's Day stamps

Snow was born Carmel White and was editor-in-chief of influential American magazine Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958.

Bland was the first woman in the world to design, build and fly an airplane. Her plane was named the ‘Mayfly’ and Bland flew it over Carnmoney Hill near Belfast in 1910.

Kyle was the first woman to represent Ireland at the Olympics. She competed in the Melbourne games in 1956. She also competed in the Rome Olympics in 1960 and the Tokyo Games in 1964, to become Ireland’s first triple Olympian.

Purser was an artist who specialised in portraits and stained-glass art. In 1924, she became the first female member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

O’Hara is perhaps the best known of these women. She was one of the major actresses during the golden era of Hollywood, starring in films such as The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley and Miracle on 34th Street.

Each of these women were pioneers in their respective fields, but many are not household names, despite their achievements.

Debbie Byrne, who is the Managing Director of An Post Retail, hopes the new stamps will help to reintroduce these women to a new generation and be a step towards getting them the recognition they deserve.

Byrne said: “Some of these women are practically unknown, their names strangely absent from the history books and rolls of honour.

“To mark International Women’s Day 2020, An Post is proud to shine a light on these women’s remarkable achievements so that men and women alike can be inspired by their courage and determination.

“The world is changing and so is An Post. Since launching our Gender Pay Report last year, we have been working to improve our gender balance across the business, particularly in the frontline and supervisory staff. We’ve focused on mentoring, removing bias from our recruitment communications and ensuring balance in all shortlists. It’s making a real difference.

“These are the perfect stamps to post to the women we know who inspire, challenge and sustain us, and let them know we’re thinking of them.”

The series of stamps was designed by Oonagh Young at Irish firm Design HQ.

To purchase the stamps, visit the An Post website.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcallingJoin our community