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An Post stamp marks 50th anniversary of free secondary education

The stamp features two students from the largest second level school in the country.

Image: An Post

AN POST HAS issued a commemorative stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of free secondary school education in Ireland.

In 1967, the then Minister for Education Donogh O’Malley announced plans for second-level education throughout Ireland.

The stamp features Lauren Dench and Michael Duke, two students of Gorey Community School in North Wexford, the largest second level school in the country.

Donogh O’Malley joined the Fianna Fail cabinet as Minister for Health following the general election of 1966.

He replaced Patrick Hillery as Minister for Education one year later, shortly after his appointment he announced that from 1969 education to Intermediate Certificate level would be free.

At that time about a third of all children who finished primary school were dropping out of education altogether. At fifteen years of age fewer than 50% were still in full time education and by sixteen, only 36% were still at school.

The stamp was designed by leading designer Ger Garland with photography by Alan Betson.

Read: Ireland to repay €5.5 billion of bailout loans early to IMF, Denmark & Sweden>

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