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Euro cash

Austrian Schilling
Belgian Franc
Finnish Markka
French Franc
German Mark
Greek Drachma
Italian Lira
Irish Punt
Luxembourg Franc
Netherlands Guilder
Portuguese Escudo
Spanish Peseta
Irish Punt  
Irish Currency
Curriculum Vitae:
Born 1928 (1979 Punt)
Replaced British pound
1 punt = 100 pence
1 euro = 0.79 punt
The Irish euro
Ireland's independence from Britain meant that it needed to establish its own money system. But rather than launch a fully-fledged independent currency, the Irish Free State opted to keep its ties to sterling, issuing Irish pounds and pennies of equal worth to their British counterparts.

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.

Send us your memories of the Irish punt

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