The disappearance of separate Irish coinage after the Act of Union and the growing use of banknotes at around the same time, heralded and new development in the story of money. For the next 100 years the only coins to circulate in Ireland were the standard coins of Britain.
The momentous events of the period 1916 to 1921 and the setting up of the Free State brought another chapter, with the issuing of a new coinage for the new Ireland. Many of the designs, chosen by a committee under the chairmanship of W.B. Yeats, remained with us until 2001. Other milestones have included the move to decimalisation in 1971 when the Celtic designs provided by the artist Gabriel Hayes were accepted for the new twopence, penny and halfpenny. Finally our story is brought up to time with the arrival of the Euro, which heralds in a new era and brings the story of Ireland's coins and currency to an end.
In terms of content and layout, the exhibition is aimed, not at the coin collector or specialist, but rather at the general public for whom the distinctive Irish coinage will soon be a fading memory and it is hoped that it will help to explain and throw light on a fascinating aspect of Irish history.