Rate Tables updated 14 March 2007


At the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 there were no airmail services from Ireland to any foreign countries. Between 1922 and 1939 there were occasional specially organised airmail flights but none developed into any regular services. Where airmail service was available from London it was possible to send Irish airmails to be forwarded by those services.

As Britain expanded its airmail routes, Ireland could avail of those airmail services, which during the 1930s means you find mail from Ireland to countries along the Imperial Airways routes to Australia and South Africa besides those routes already established into Europe.

All these services were paid at the same rates as Britain but varied by destination and mail type.

Covers flown on these 'British' flight are known as Irish Acceptances and you will also see several of these for the Zeppelin flights, especially to South America, during the 1930s.

Curiously the dealers who produced these covers often paid the Printed Matter rate which was an acceptable rate for airmail at that time. Nowadays most countries only send First Class mail by air and Printed Matter is sent by surface rate.


With the establishment, in 1939, of the trans-Atlantic airmail service into Foynes, Co. Limerick, Ireland got its first regular direct airmail flights, though these were interrupted by World War II just two months after inauguration, but the postal rates still varied by destination.

After the war, airmail services really took off and were most often paid by an 'All-up' fee as opposed to an air fee in addition to the surface rate as previously.

Uniform Airmail Rates

In 1951 Ireland reformed its foreign airmail rates with the introduction and later development of the Uniform Foreign Airmail Rates.

This cover was mailed on 28 February 1951, the day before the new Uniform Airmail Rates came into effect, and it was correctly paid for airmail service to the USA at 9d, but, the next day, when it arrived at the Foreign Section in Dublin the rate was now 1/4, so it was improperly marked 'INSUFFICIENTLY PAID FOR / AIR SERVICE'.

Mail to Europe was usually sent by air though there is no evidence of this because airmail etiquettes were neither applied, nor required, for this mail. Since then the basic concept of charging uniform airmail rates has continued though the definition of foreign has varied as some countries have been included and excluded, usually because of European Union (EEC, EC, etc.) membership. So the current division of Irish Postal Rates is for National, Britain, EU & Foreign categories.

Current Rates

The current (effective 1 March 2007) official An Post (Irish Post Office) rate pages are:

Standard Post - Worldwide
Registered Post - Worldwide
Express Post - Ireland only
Courier Post - Worldwide

Please e-mail me when these link are broken as An Post has often changed their rate pages.

Previous Rates

Detailed (An Post) Rate Tables
2007 to date Current Rate Tables 1 March 2007
2006 - 2007 20 February 2006 - 28 February 2007
2004 - 2006 5 January 2004 - 19 February 2006
2003 - 2004 6 January 2003 - 4 January 2004
2002 - 2003 Introduction of Euro Currency 1 January 2002 - 5 January 2003
1999 - 2001 Irish Rates w/Euro Equivalent 5 July 1999 - 31 December 2001
1998 - 1999 6 April 1998 - 4 July 1999
1991 - 1998 2 April 1991 - 5 April 1998
Simplified Rate Tables
1977 - 2000 Weight Metrication 25 July 1977 - 5 April 1998
1971 - 1977 Currency Decimalisation 15 February 1971 - 24 July 1877
1951 - 1971 Sterling Currency 1 March 1951 - 14 February 1971

Wartime Airmail Supplements

These will be posted when scanned.

Iris an Phoist: (Postmaster's Instructions) October 18, 1939 (39K image)
gives the Airmail Rates to Foreign Counties just one month after World War II began.
© 1996-2007
Karl Winkelmann
Updated 14 March 2007