Erin is a principle, with a stage family ranging from Minimus to Septuples. Erin Minimus is unusual in being the only member of the Erin family to be rung on an even number of bells.
Erin bears are very strong similarity to the principle Stedman. The latter is constructed of alternately 'quick' and 'slow' sixes, whereas Erin is composed of the 'slow' type only. Consequently, the two principles bear similarities and differences. A course of Erin is half the length of a course of Stedman on the same number of bells. The dodging in 4-5 upwards is identical in the two principles, although the front work differs between them (in Stedman there are two different types of front work, but only one in Erin). The types of calls used in Erin are also identical to Stedman's Principle. Erin has a Plain Bob type coursing order.
The principle was first known to have been devised in about 1908 by the eminent composer Gabriel Lindoff. Then residing in Ireland, Lindoff chose to name his principle after that country. The first peal of the principle was Erin Triples, rung at Gateshead, County Durham, on June 5th 1909. Caters quickly followed suit in July at North Shields. The first peal of Erin Cinques was at Newcastle under Lyme in 1924.
Erin is an interesting principle for composers. An extent of Erin Doubles is not possible with the standard singles (i.e: those used in Stedman Doubles). Erin Minimus, in contrast, forms a neat extent with no calls needed. The first peal of Erin Triples was composed by Joseph W Parker, and this 5040 remains popular today. Most of the other compositions of Erin Triples were on a similar course plan. More recently there have been many interesting new plans explored, including 7-parts, and arrangements with only two singles. It is still not known whether a bobs-only extent is possible. Extents of Erin Triples have to be on a Regular Course End Plan, and B-Block type peals are not possible as they are in Stedman Triples. As B-Blocks are a fundamental feature of Stedman Triples bobs-only compositions, this could be a severe handicap for Erin where a bobs-only solution is concerned. Peals of Caters and Cinques are usually rung with the back bells in the 'Tittums' and 'Handstroke Home' positions- with additions- as in Stedman. From Triples onwards, any touch bearing a course with one lone bob runs false.