In conjunction with the Department of Finance, the Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland is issuing special collector coins to participate in the 2010 Europa Coin Programme. Many European countries take part in this prestigious themed initiative and this year the chosen theme is ‘European Architecture’. The 2010 coins commemorate the 25th anniversary of Gaisce – the President’s Award. The coin design depicts Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland, the patron of Gaisce. It also features some of the diverse range of challenges that participants in the Award undertake. The raised elements of the evocative design have been accentuated by the delicate frosting that contrasts beautifully with the mirror-like background. This same proof finish has been applied to the obverse of the coin that traditionally depicts the 14 string Irish harp modelled on the ‘Brian Ború’ harp in Trinity College, Dublin. This harp has been used on the Irish coins since 1928 and on this coin it is surrounded by a beautiful laurel wreath to reflect the prestigious nature of Gaisce – the President’s Award. Gaisce – the President’s Award is Ireland’s National Challenge Award to young people between 15 and 25 years of age. The award scheme focusses on helping young people fulfil their true potential by undertaking a series of challenges. There are three different levels of award – gold, silver and bronze – each requiring dedication and commitment to achieve a set of personal goals. To obtain an award participants must take part in four challenge areas: 1)Community Involvement – By volunteering to help an individual or group within the community the award helps instil a sense of pride and understanding. 2) Personal Skill – Improving an existing skill or learning a new one develops commitment and confidence. 3) Physical Recreation – Promotes healthy lifestyle by taking part in a sport or fitness activity. 4) Adventure Journey – Teamwork and leadership skills are improved by undertaking an adventure.. The competition to design these Ireland Proof coin issues for 2010 was won by Michael Guilfoyle. The central point of his design focusses on the classical portico of Áras an Uachtaráin. Below the building a procession of young people work towards their President’s Award personal goals in a wide range of activities. The design is completed with the inscription ‘Gaisce 25 Years’. Originally built in 1751 as a hunting lodge by park ranger Nathaniel Clements, Áras an Uachtaráin is the official residence of the President of Ireland. Situated in the Phoenix Park, it was the home of the British Viceroys in Ireland for 150 years, then the Governors General (Queen’s representative in Ireland) and since 1938 it has been the official residence of the Presidents of Ireland.