Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Postage Stamps.

28.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs why the accent is omitted over the initial letter of the country's name on Irish postage stamps.

The accent has been omitted on most Irish stamps issued over the past ten years in the interests of artistic balance and in accordance with a common practice in the printing of Irish in Roman script for display purposes. This is a prevailing typographical convention and is common to several European languages, including French.

Is the Minister aware that this word means something entirely different from the word "Éire"?

It has been there for the past ten years.

I did not ask you whether it was there for the past 40 or 50 years. I am asking you, not him, seeing that you have your tallyman behind you.

Would the Deputy please address the Chair and avoid personalities?

I am not so aware.

Would the Minister accept the definition of Dineen's dictionary of "eire" as being a heavy burden, and that is what was on the Irish stamp today?

May I pass to the next question?

Has the Minister an observation to make?

The Deputy's question does not arise. The word on the stamp means, as it has meant for the last ten years, ever since it has been in use, what it is understood to mean, "Éire", which is the name of the country in the Irish language. It does not mean "eire" and it is not understood to mean "eire" by anybody except the Deputy.

Is the Minister a better authority than Dineen's dictionary?

We cannot have an argument. The Deputy will have to find another opportunity for arguing on this matter.

Is the Minister saying——

The Deputy has had a number of supplementaries and a number of replies.

I want to ask just one more question. Is the Minister stating that there are not two different words in this?

I suggest with respect that this Deputy is wasting the time of the House.

That was not in reply to my question.

The Chair has called No. 29.

The final question you allowed me has not been answered.

The Chair has shown a lot of tolerance, and the Deputy is abusing the privilege the Chair has given him.