New stamps celebrate NI

The scenic delights of Northern Ireland are featured on a new set of stamps launched by Royal Mail.

The `Celebrating Northern Ireland` set features two 1st Class stamps with images of the Giant`s Causeway and Carrickfergus Castle.

There are also two 78p long-format stamps with stunning images of Belfast`s Queen`s Bridge and the Thanksgiving Beacon and a new illustration of St Patrick by artist Clare Melinsky.

General Manager of Royal Mail in Northern Ireland, Michael Kennedy, said the set of stamps was the third in a series of collectable miniature stamp sheets which were being issued in celebration of each of the UK regions.

Each set features a patron saint surrounded by well known and loved landmarks, he said.

He added:"Royal Mail hopes that this special set of stamps will help promote Northern Ireland around the world.

"Although they are small, we think these miniature works of art will be great ambassadors for Northern Ireland, whether people use them to send greetings to friends and relatives around the world or buy them as collectable mementoes."

Artist Clare Melinsky said: "Being asked to design a new stamp is a great honour. A stamp is a very small piece of paper but carries a lot of significance.

"My image is very much a personal interpretation of the saint, because the mists of time have obscured what we know of him."

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