A hard-to-find first day cover (FDC) featuring the first and only issue of four stamps from Long Island (Inisfada), off the coast of County Cork in Ireland, depicting scenes from the island and the wider area.
Designed by Guy Brison-Stack, printed by Dakota Ltd in Dublin, and issued on 24 April 1973, the stamps show: Long Island harbour (4p); Fastnet Lighthouse (6p); the Norman tower of Leamcon Castle (12p); and a map of the island (15p).
A booklet within the FDC (unfolded and illustrated above) includes details about the issue and the places depicted.
About Long Island
We believe this to be the only set of stamps ever produced for the ‘Long Island Local Carriage Service Ltd’.
Postally used examples do exist on the back of envelopes, though the extent to which the stamps were part of a genuine local postal service is unclear. In November 1973, Michael Enright of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs of Ireland told the US-based Éire Philatelic Association:
“I wish to state that the Irish Post Office did not, at any time, approve the establishment of a privately owned and operated carriage service by the Long Island Local Carriage Service Ltd., and that company was not given permission to issue stamps and charge rates for the carriage of mail.”
So, that may well account for why there were seemingly no more Long Island issues after this one!