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Ireland has issued commemorative proof coins since the foundation of the Irish Free State. The first Irish proof set was issued in 1928 and collected all of the original circulating coins in proof quality. A circulating set was later issued in 1971 to mark decimalisation. Other pre-euro circulating coinsets were issued by the Central Bank of Ireland in 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2000.

The Central Bank of Ireland also issued a number of pre-Euro commemorative circulating coins:

  • In 1966, a special 10 shilling coin featuring a depiction of Cú Chulainn on the reverse and Padraig Pearse on the obverse was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising;
  • In 1988, a 50p coin was issued to celebrate the Dublin Millennium, the design of which was based on the Dublin City Coat of Arms;
  • In 2000, a special £1 was issued to mark the Millennium, and depicting the historic Broighter Boat.
1966 10 shilling coin 1988 50p coin 2000 £1 coin


Other notable pre-euro collector coins issued by the Central Bank of Ireland include:

  • 5 ECU Silver, 10 ECU Silver and 50 ECU Gold coins issued in 1990 to mark Ireland’s tenure of the European Community Presidency which saw significant steps forward in European integration and advances towards the Economic and Monetary Union.

  • A special £1 commemorative coin issued in 1997 to mark the first 50 years of the United Nations (1945-1995).