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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Centenary of AA Ireland - 55c Stamp

On 14 October, 2010 An Post issued a stamp to commemorate the Centenary of the Automobile Association Ireland (AA).

The AA started in Ireland in 1910, just as motoring was becoming popular with more and more cars appearing on the Irish roads. Its first meeting was held at offices on College Green, in Dublin City Centre. When the AA began in Ireland, the country had nearly 90,000km of roads, but only 7,870 registered motor vehicles, a number which soon rapidly increased. Within a year of the Association's establishment in Ireland, 4,000 road signs had been installed.

During World War I and the Irish War of Independence, private motoring virtually stopped, but in 1924, two years after the Irish Free State came into being, the AA was revived. It issued the first road book of Ireland in 1931, and then in 1938, started another extensive road signposting scheme. By 1950, the organisation had 19,200 members.

In 1998, the AA became the first major organisation in Ireland to offer its members a free mobile phone. Two years later, AA launched its websites which are used regularly for route maps and traffic reports. Today, AA Ireland offers its customers a wide variety of services at home and abroad, as the organisation is now an essential 'companion' for so many motorists all over the country, its membership figures today exceed 600,000.

The stamp and first day cover were designed by Q Design and feature a photograph of an AA patrolman in full uniform giving the traditional AA salute.