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Old Money

What is Ireland's Currency?

“Money makes the world go round” or so they say… 

Ireland is no different to any other country in this respect and over the years the Emerald Isle’s currency has changed and developed.

With the rise of smartphone payment systems, touch payments and digital currencies, physical money might slowly become a thing of the past but, for now, it’s fun to look back at coins and notes that used to feature in every day life. 

The Irish Punt

The first recorded Irish currency came into existence as far back as 995 – 997. Up until the advent of the Euro (more on that later…) Ireland always operated with an Irish pound closely related to the English pound. This meant that each pound comprised of 240 pence, or twenty shillings, each worth twelve pence.

This Irish pound, known locally as a punt, first featured the heads of current kings and the word “Dyflin” to represent the capital.

This close relationship continued for centuries, with slight changes or variations here and there, but modern Irish currency, as we’ve known it, really began from 1928 onwards.

This newly minted currency retained parity with English sterling, on a de facto, basis for upwards of 50 years!

It comprised of coins including the punt, farthing, halfpenny, penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling and florin, until the introduction of the Decimal Currency Act in 1969. 

This change resulted in an Irish punt now being worth 100 pence, rather than 240, and followed the English model. From then this model was retained until the introduction of the Euro between 1998 and 2002. 

Switching to Euro

Euro

As we hinted earlier, major change was introduced to Ireland at the turn of the last century between 1998 and 2002.

During this time Ireland agreed to join a common European Union currency and did so alongside other founding members, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain!

Incredibly, this massive change was introduced almost seamlessly even though it included 18 months of back to back printing of the newly minted currency! 

Spend Wisely!

Interestingly, all three modern variations of Irish currency detailed above have all featured a Celtic Harp within the design.

However, we know that if you live here or are just visiting, you’re more interested in spending than admiring! 

With that in mind, we would recommend you spend wisely… Meaning, spend on experiences and discover every corner of this beautiful island we call home! Catch a GAA game at Croke Park, wander around Dublin and Belfast, explore the Wild Atlantic Way, grab a pint of the black stuff during a traditional session in a tiny pub and so much more!

“Money makes the world go round” but only if you spend it on the things that matter!

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