BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 15:00 GMT
Your memories of the punt
The punt has disappeared into history and has been replaced entirely by the euro. You sent us your memories of the currency.

It is with great sadness that I watch the punt leave us. The euro notes that have replaced it have no sense of national identity. The distinctly Irish figures of Daniel O'Connell and James Joyce beat pictures of bridges and windows which have no national relevance whatsoever.
Sťamus ” Conaill, …ire

I definitely liked the £1 notes. A nice wad of those made you feel like a gangster!!
Paddy, Ireland

We have only had the euro a short while and I miss the punt already. The coins were bigger than the euro, so it seemed you had lots to spend, and the notes were good because they had famous Irish people on them.
Gareth Donnelly, Republic of Ireland

I regard the Irish punts as really nice notes. They will surely be missed. I'm also sure that I will vote NO to the euro here in Sweden. I wouldn't like to see our currency to go that way.
Augustus, Sweden

In one way it is sad to see the Irish pound disappear, but adopting the euro will have its advantages too and the euro coins and notes look OK. The only coin I'll miss is the £1 (the nice sound it made in your pocket) but, then again, the pound coin has only been around since 1990, so it's not really such an integral part of our history, is it?
Mark Tierney

I do remember fondly the old orange-coloured 10 "bob" notes... holding it seemed to give one endless purchasing power

Declan, Boston, USA
I've just realised that I haven't kept any of the old notes as souvenirs, and for some reason feel sad about that. But it shows how effective the whole changeover process was.
David Joyce, Ireland

I miss the pound coins. They were so big and distinctive that you could always tell at a glance when looking into your purse just how much you had. I'm still having trouble distinguishing the 1 and 2 euro, not to mention the smaller denominations!
Carol Behan, Ireland

I never held much attachment to the "punts" - never had enough of them for long enough to form an attachment. But I do remember fondly the old orange-coloured 10 "bob" notes. Memories of first Holy Communions, confirmations, birthdays and holding the beautiful note that seemed to give one endless "purchasing power". The new notes seem bland and one doesn't feel any connection to them... obscure and sterile designs... long live Lady Lavery.
Declan, Boston, USA

Yes, I will be sorry to see the coins gone forever. I will miss the stag, the woodcock, the horse, the salmon and the pig. I have held on to a few coins, for sentimental reasons and to show future generations just what our old money looked like. But it's onward and upward with the euro, and I'm looking forward to travelling in Europe this year with just one currency, and no need to go near a foreign exchange!
Damien Cahill, Republic of Ireland

It was always said that James Joyce, an able singer, could have had a career as a tenor - well he did, long after his death, have a solid career as a tenner!

Thomas McCarthy, Italy
In 1980, travelling to Ireland for holiday, our local bank was hard pressed to source punts for us to carry. Once in Ireland, it was evident that the hotels, restaurants and cabbies would have much preferred British Pounds to their own currency. The exchange rate at the time was £1 sterling = 0.9 punt...
Dave Marshall, Canada

It was always said that James Joyce, an able singer while a student, could have had a career as a tenor. Well he did, long after his death, have a solid career as a tenner!
Thomas McCarthy, Italy

As a child of the Irish diaspora I am sad to see the Irish currency go. I always liked the coins with the animal figures rather than a monarch, or DWM (dead white man) as we have here in the US. The old one punt note is one of my all time favourites - in fact I have one displayed in the supreme place of honor in our house -on the door of the fridge.
Kevin Foley, USA

The majority of Irish people never called it the "punt" - it was still the pound, and several were "a few quid", much as with sterling. It will be interesting to see what nicknames develop with the euro denominations!
Michael, Ireland

I feel that joinig the euro takes us further away from our past as part of the UK, as we develop a more distinct identity from Britain.
Mark Nolan, Wexford, Eire

I'm going to miss the punt because of the tinny noise it made in your pocket. When you put your hand in your pocket you would know what coin would be coming out, unlike the euro.
Arthur Gilliard

Irish banknotes were changed in the 1990s to make them more modern looking and include the faces of well known important Irish people. At the time the most talked about 'new face' was that of Daniel O'Connell on the £20 note. He bore a somewhat uncanny resemblance to the current Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern.
Stephen Lynam

I find it hard to believe that Ireland has adopted the euro. The old punt has a special place in Ireland since 1922, born out of the ruins of the Irish Civil War. My parents have fond memories of the early shilling bank notes that were in use from 1924 until 1978.
Ruairi McGovern

I think that we in Northern Ireland should be able to spend and accept euros as well as sterling. That way we could go over the border and be able to tell straight away how much something was worth. Furthermore, it would give us an insight to see if joining the euro is a good idea.
Northern Ireland resident

The punt became an integral part of life in Ireland. It will be rather sad watching it go

Stephen Keogh
My memory of the punt was being thrilled that the notes were much smaller the old pounds and could fit in a wallet without sticking out the top.
Martin Gould

I remember in the mid 1980's a colleague used to frequently visit Ireland and bring back pocketfuls of coins which were identical to sterling, but cost about 90% of 'face value'. They worked wonders in vending machines.

During the British horseracing season in the late 1970's and early 1980's the Central Bank had to impose currency restrictions on the movement of money outside the country for the first time. With the huge Irish following of British racing fixtures, many devious schemes and hidden plots were devised to fool Irish Customs and Excise officials.
Richard Brophy

Naturally, growing up with the punt meant it became an integral part of life in Ireland. It will be rather sad watching it go, but the euro is better in the way it will be more widely accepted across both Europe and the world.
Stephen Keogh

I will miss the pound coin and 50p a lot, as these were big enough to make you feel you had more money than you really did.

They didn't look much and they didn't buy much after 1975, so better luck with the euro.
Finian O'Sullivan, UK

Sorry Finian, I disagree, the notes were actually quite attractive, particularly the £20 note with the 1770 map of central Dublin. The coins were far too large, especially the £1 and 50p. Without wishing to give a plug, Scruffy Murphy's pub off Mount Street, has a large collection of Irish bank notes, including some of the first notes.
Paul, Ireland, Ireland

I'm not too sorry to see the pound go, although the euro notes and coins aren't as interesting as the old notes and coins. I will miss the pound coin and 50p a lot, as these were big enough to make you feel you had more money than you really did.
David, Ireland

I remember with pride in 1979 we finally broke with sterling to join the then EMS and we got shiny new punts without Lady Lavery! We were very excited - we had become a part of Europe in a much more tangible form. Now that the euro is here we as a nation have finally an international voice and we are proud to be a part of Europe in full.
Brian Doogan, Republic of Ireland

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories