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Clare men may have got the better of An Post with annual challenge

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Two Clare natives have been running an unofficial Christmas challenge for five years against An Post and are hoping that this will finally be the year that they get the better of the national postal service.

The pair, Gearoid Kelly of Feakle and Anthony McTigue of Kilnamona, have been challenging each other in attempting to successfully send their Christmas postcards to one another by adding a vague description instead of a full postal address on the front of their letters.

Gearoid and Anthony met in college in Galway, where they hung out and played music together and have been friends for the past 10 years. “Each year we send a letter addressed to our parent’s homes in Clare. Each time, we put less info on it, increasing the challenge,” Gearoid explains.

This year, Anthony, writing from Sydney, Australia, addressed his letter to Gearoid as follows:

That lad who studied commerce in NUIG who used to be in TradSoc, played in the Crane on Tuesdays, lives in Dublin now for the past few years, see him on Facebook a lot with dinosaur costume. Tulla…. or perhaps Feakle? Anyhow, just get this to East Clare and they will know who I am on about, Ireland.

The letter made its way to the postal office in Tulla, who subsequently passed it onto a local lady, living in Feakle, who is familiar with the family. After reading the description, a connection was made, and the letter was then dropped off to Gearoid’s parents’ house. The year before, Gearoid says that the local postman rang his home address to see if the letter was for him. “By now there is probably a red flag being highlighted for us in An Post. Each year is getting more difficult to beat the system. We are running out of ideas to make it as vague as possible,” he adds.

Gearoid credits the hard work of An Post, saying that they “Go above and beyond in getting anything delivered.”

In spite of this resounding success over the past five years, Gearoid concedes that his letter, addressed to Anthony’s home house in Clare, has yet to be delivered. This year, Gearoid decided to add an extra element of creativity, writing his in Irish, which contains a description of his friend’s son and mentions that he is living in Australia. It reads:

A mhac an fir a shnoigh dealbh Michael Cusack atá in Inis. Tá an mac Engineer san Astral ach tá an áit bhaile í gContae an Chláir.

“I am holding out my hopes, hoping it will arrive. It has been several weeks now. Having written it in Irish, maybe I have pushed the boundaries out too much. I am hoping in speaking to The Clare Echo that maybe the search for it will continue and it can be found,” he concludes.

An avid reader from a young age, Cian’s love of the archives has been shared by Clare Echo readers who enjoy his Reeling in The Years section. Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and Michael Crichton were his favourites writers in his younger years while he was always a fan of studying the opinion columns in The Irish Independent. A past pupil of Lissycasey National School and St Flannan’s College, he is currently completing his final year studies at the University of Limerick in New Media and English. From September, he will be commencing a Masters Degree in Journalism at UL.

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