A committee headed by the poet WB Yeats was charged with choosing an emblem for the new coins and opted for the traditional Irish harp. The first notes and coins were minted in London in 1928 and still bore the inscription, "One pound sterling payable to the bearer on demand in London".
Despite the adoption of a new constitution and the establishment of a separate Irish Central Bank, this inscription lasted until the early 1960s. Like the UK, Ireland did not convert into decimal until 1971. Yet still the ties to sterling lasted until Ireland joined the European Monetary System in 1979 and in the same year renamed the Irish pound the punt.
Enthusiasm for the euro is high in Ireland, with 72% in favour. But there are fears that once the notes and coins are introduced people may start to feel short changed. The punt is the only eurozone currency which is worth more than one euro - giving the impression that prices rise when they are converted into euros.
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