Irish pound notes and coins ceased to be the official circulating currency in Ireland as of January 1, 2002, when the euro note became legal tender in the Eurozone. The central bank of Ireland set a fixed rate of 0.787564 euros to the Irish pound and will exchange Irish pound notes for euros indefinitely.
The Currency Act of 1927 established an Irish version of the British pound sterling called the Saorstat, the precursor to the modern Irish pound. Although it was a separate currency, the Irish pound did maintain a link to the British pound sterling. That link was broken when the Irish pound became a member of the European Monetary System, or EMS, in 1979. In 1999, as one of the founding members of the European Monetary Union, Ireland adopted the euro (then only a virtual currency) as its official currency. Irish pound notes remained the physical currency, but exchange rates were fixed among member states, creating a single currency regime and monetary policy.
On January 1, 2002, euro notes replaced Irish pounds as the circulating currency in Ireland. The central bank set a fixed exchange rate of 0.787564 euros to the Irish pound and made the initial currency exchanges at its main branch and through ATMs. The transition went relatively smoothly, and after a week, almost 90 percent of cash transactions in the country were being done in euros.
In order to exchange Irish pounds to euros, you can bring your pound notes to the main office of the Central Bank of Ireland, located on Dame Street in Dublin. There is a value limit of 1,000 Irish pounds per day. Anything over that must be approved by the Currency Issuance Department and paid directly to a bank account. Coins carry a lower daily limit of 500 Irish pounds.
You may also make an exchange via the mail, using a form provided on the central bank's website. In those cases, the euros will be credited to your bank account. To calculate how many euros you will get for your Irish pounds, divide the Irish pound amount by 0.787564. For instance, 100 Irish pounds would come out to 126.97 euros.
- Central Bank of Ireland/Exchanging Irish Banknotes and Coin
- "The Irish Pound: From Origins to EMU"; John Kelly; 2003
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