Saying 'I love you' on St Valentine's Day has never been easier with An Post's special issue love stamps and shops stocking an ever widening range of gift items for that special someone.

Six million love stamps featuring designs by Brigid Teehan and Tara Collins are selling briskly according to An Post. Unfortunately, as St Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, they are not prepared to meet the cost of reinstating a Saturday delivery service, just to support the nation’s romantic endeavours.

This minor inconvenience has not perturbed romantics, who have overcome the problem by dispatching their cards earlier in the week. Joe Hayes put out his shop-displays two weeks before Valentine’s day and believes a lot of people will hand deliver their cards on the day itself.

Year on year tokens of love on Valentine’s Day have grown more elaborate and can now entail flowers, confectionery or cuddly toys.

The paraphernalia associated with Valentine’s Day is, depending on your viewpoint, either big business or an expensive racket.

Despite this diversification, cards are still the most popular item and the range extends from the sentimental and traditional to something more risqué.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 13 January 1987. The reporter is Michael Walsh.