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Brendan gets a stamp of approval

THE daughter of playwright Brendan Behan has expressed her delight that he has been celebrated with a commemorative stamp.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, An Post yesterday unveiled the new stamp, of which 200,000 have been produced.

Blanaid Walker said she was "thrilled" to see the limited-edition 60c stamp come into use two years after her initial suggestion.

The idea originated with Behan's grandsons.

"My boys, Guy and Rupert, were the ones to write the letter two years ago and I did a follow-up," she said.

"The initial reaction was not as positive as I thought and it was put on hold, so I didn't think it was going to go ahead.


"Oscar Wilde has had two stamps and even my father's contemporaries have had stamps in their honour, so it seemed a little unfair.

"I think they put it on the back boiler and then changed their minds, but I'm really thrilled his anniversary has been celebrated."

Ms Walker was joined by her husband, Matthew, and 13-year-old Rupert for the unveiling at the GPO.

She said her father, who died in 1964 at the age of 41, would be "amused and honoured" that he has been remembered in such a way.

An Post philatelic manager Aidan Murphy said the stamp was an appropriate way to toast the life of "one of Ireland's foremost 20th century literary giants".