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'That's mad, Ted': An Post aiming to meet Father Ted demand as two months of stamp orders made in two days

The Father Ted stamps have proven to be a bona fide hit.

Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle) launched the stamps last month.
Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle) launched the stamps last month.
Image: Maxwells Dublin

AN POST HAS said the reaction to its recent launch of Father Ted commemorative stamps has been “unprecedented”, after two months’ worth of orders were received in the space of two days when they were launched last month. 

The stamps were launched on 27 August to mark 25 years since the beloved comedy series first hit our TV screens.

They feature iconic one-liners from each of the main characters: Father Dougal’s bemused “that’s mad Ted”, Father Jack’s profound insight of “that would be an ecumenical matter”, the determined Mrs Doyle’s refrain of “will you have a cup of tea, father?” and Father Ted Crilly’s panicked excuse of “that money was just resting in my account”. 

A “retro wallpaper” pattern on the stamps also matches the decor in the Craggy Island parochial house.

An Post frequently issues limited edition stamps on a variety of topics, but the popularity of the Craggy Islanders has proved unprecedented.

However, “down with that sort of thing” was the cry in unison from many users on Twitter who have experienced delays in receiving their stamps. 

The company has said that such was the volume of orders that they’re still working through them.

Covid-19 has affected all facets of life, and An Post had delayed the launch of the Father Ted stamps having originally set a date in April.

An Post’s head of corporate communications Anna McHugh told TheJournal.ie that the stamps “struck a chord” at the right time for many people. 

“Everyone needed a boost,” she said. “There’s no doubt there’s a huge fondness for Father Ted and all the characters. It’s something people could send to their friends, to their children abroad. It’s a bit of a laugh to perk us up during these times.”

McHugh described an “exceptional initial burst” of orders that the company has aimed to keep up with, but said that there was a slight delay in the stamps reaching some customers. 

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“We’re dispatching them every day,” she said, adding that new stock is on its way.

It may be a much-less common hobby than for previous generations, but stamp collecting still retains a small core and the An Post spokeswoman said that the company aims to cater for as wide an audience as possible to attract collectors and non-collectors alike. 

McHugh pointed to other recent successful campaigns run by An Post, including Thin Lizzy stamps, stamps commemorating great Irish songs like Dreams by The Cranberries and others promoting organ donation, but added that the Father Ted ones have exceeded expectations.  

The success of these stamps in particular are being attributed by An Post to things like a small surge in personal mail since the onset of the pandemic, pride in something that feels distinctly Irish and the sheer longevity and love held for the show itself. 

“Our focus will soon switch to Christmas,” McHugh added, and said that work has been under way since the start of lockdown to create Christmas stamps – frequently the bestsellers for An Post – that reflect the times we’ve lived through. 

She said: “It’s a very detailed process that goes into creating our stamps. The ones we’ll release in 2021 and 2022 are already in progress, and we’ll soon be looking at ideas for 2023 and beyond.” The company also accepts ideas from the public for stamps and you can find out more information on that here

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Sean Murray

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