Sunday 18 August 2019

Houston, we have a problem: An Post apologises for spelling gaffe on 50th anniversary moon landing stamps

Gabija Gataveckaite

An Post has issued an apology after a misspelling appeared on its special edition stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

The national postal service released four special edition €1 stamps last week in celebration of the 50th anniversary since man first landed on the moon.

However, the Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins stamps feature a misspelling of the word ‘moon’ in Irish.

Instead of correctly reading ‘gealach’, the Irish word for ‘moon’, the word reads ‘gaelach’, which translates to ‘Irish’.

“During the production process for An Post’s Space Exploration stamp set the letters ‘a’ and ‘e’ were transposed in the Irish language title of the stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,” a statement from An Post read.

Due to the blunder, the translated sentence reads ‘50th anniversary of the first Irish landing’ instead of '50th anniversary of the first moon landing’.

"While the original draft of the Irish text was correct, the word gealach (moon) appeared incorrectly as gaelach (Irish) in two of the four stamps featured.’

The error was not spotted before the set of stamps was released for sale on July 4.

“An Post apologies for the error and has taken steps to ensure that this will not happen again. We hope this will not detract from a wonderful celebration of an epic event,” the statement concluded.

The space exploration stamps feature four astronauts of Irish ancestry, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Cady Coleman and Eileen Collins.

Neil Armstrong had roots in Fermanagh and was the first man to step on the moon, uttering the famous words ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.

Michael Collins also went along to the first ever trip to the moon and remained in lunar orbit as he was the command module pilot. His grandfather emigrated from Cork to America in the 1800s.

Cady Coleman has Irish heritage on both sides of her family and is the veteran of two space shuttle missions.

Eileen Collins, who also appears on one of the stamps, is the daughter of two Irish immigrants from Cork. She was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle mission in 1995.

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