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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie commemorated on new An Post stamps

The philanthropist contributed to the construction of libraries across Ireland.

The stamps commemorating Ireland's Carnegie libraries.
The stamps commemorating Ireland's Carnegie libraries.
Image: An Post

AN POST IS set to commemorate philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on a new stamp. 

A Scottish-American industrialist and businessman, Carnegie became known later in his life for the scale of his philanthropy. 

Carnegie, who died 100 years ago in 1919, contributed significantly to Ireland through an endowment of grants to build over 80 libraries across the country. 

Known for his donations to causes and projects around the world – including Carnegie Hall in New York – the philanthropist amassed a huge fortune after emigrating to the US from Scotland and starting work in the cotton industry. 

In his honour, An Post has launched four stamps to mark the centenary of his death depicting four of the libraries Carnegie’s donations helped build. 

The featured buildings, drawn by Irish artist Dorothy Smith and photographed by Gillian Buckley, include two libraries in Kilkenny and Clondalkin, as well as in Enniskerry in Wicklow and Athea in Limerick. 

Over 80 libraries were built using Carnegie grants, with 62 still in use today – including Dublin’s Pearse Street library. 

The grants, offered between 1897 and 1913, were credited with helping to change and develop Ireland.

The Chair of An Post’s philatelic advisory committee, which makes decisions on special stamp sets, praised the stamps and the contribtion of Carnegie. 

Felix Larkin said the stamps were “beautiful objects that we see on our envelopes every day and which stamp-collectors all over the world greatly admire”. 

The illustrations and stamps will now go on display in Pearse Street library.

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