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Irish Punt

The Irish Punt or Pound was the currency unit of the Republic of Ireland until January 1 2002.

Ireland since 1826 also followed the British currency system (see Pound Sterling).

Like Britain, Ireland decimalised its currency in 1971, with the same range of coins used, of the same size and weight, (½, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 50 pence) albeit with different designs as had been the case since the introduction of the independent Irish coinage in 1928. In 1979, it broke from the British pound (also called the Pound Sterling). The Irish currency came to be called the Irish Pound or in the Irish language the 'Punt'.

Irish coins introduced after 1979 (20p and £1) were of a completely different size and weight from the equivalent British coins, as were the 5p and 10p coins after both countries reduced the coins in size in the early 1990s.

Withdrawal of the Punt

On January 1 2002 Ireland replaced the Punt with the Euro, with Irish coins and banknotes being withdrawn from circulation by February 9 2002, although they will be exchangeable indefinitely for euros at the Central Bank of Ireland, Banc Ceannais na hÉireann.

At 31 December 2001 the total value of Irish banknotes in circulation was 4,343.8 million euro, and the total value of Irish coins was 387.9 million euro. 56% of the value of Irish banknotes were withdrawn from circulation within two weeks of the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, and 83.4% by the time they ceased to have legal tender status on February 9. Withdrawal of coinage was slower, having a lower priority, with only 45% of coins withdrawn by February 9. One year after the changeover 456 million euro of Irish Punt banknotes remained unaccounted for, including one-third of all the £5 notes which, being the smallest denomination, were likely retained as souvenirs.

External Link

The Irish Pound: From Origins to EMU (734K PDF file, from Central Bank website).