The Central Bank of Ireland (as agent for the Minister for Finance) is the sole body with the statutory authority to issue legal tender in Ireland,

in the form of circulating and commemorative coin.


Coin Theme Criteria

Coin Designs Themes

1.     European Programmes

Ireland participates, along with seven other NCBs, in the Europa Star programme. An annual theme is agreed amongst the participating countries and designs are based on these themes.

2.     Irish Themed Programmes[1]

When considering themes for coinage, the Numismatic Advisory Committee (NAC) will explore potential programmes which may span over a number of years. Such programmes could reflect Irish culture, contribution to a particular field e.g. arts, science or Irish achievements.

3.     Anniversaries/Commemoration in Year Being Considered

The NAC will consider all historical and cultural events, births and deaths of individuals who have a significant contribution to Irish history or culture or anniversaries of achievements which fall in the year of issue.

4.     Consideration of Other Coinage

The NAC will take into account themes already used by other countries and themes already commemorated via Irish coinage which will allow opportunities for unique themes or build on the success of themes already used.

5.     Relevance to Global Culture & History

The NAC will consider events, achievements or individuals which have had an influence outside of Ireland and contributed to European or global culture/history.

6.     EU Directives/Legislation

As designs for commemorative € coins have to be approved by members of states of the EU, designs should comply with EU guidelines e.g. coins should not commemorate wars or victories of one member state over another. Themes should also be sensitive to anything which may cause offence to another member state.

7.     Lobby Groups

The Central Bank may be required to issue a collector coin at short notice due to requests, approved by the Minister for Finance, from various lobby groups. The NAC will work with the Central Bank to review the scope of the request and agree an appropriate theme/design.

8.     Individuals

When commemorating an individual’s life through a coin, the NAC will follow certain guidelines to maintain the integrity of the issue. These are as follows:

-       The individual is deceased for a period of more than 10 years.

-       The individual has not been involved in events which has caused significant controversy or negative publicity during their lifetime.


-       The selection of that individual would not have the potential to cause offence to a significant section of the population.


-       The selection of that individual would not cause offence to living family members/relatives.


-       Refer to 6 above.


[1] The Central Bank may also consult with other relevant government department, via the Department of Finance, in relation to themes which may be of relevance to them.