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Ireland and the euro

Ireland joined the European Union in 1973 and was one of the first-wave countries to adopt the euro on 1 January 1999.

Ireland at a glance

Surface area: 70 300 km2
Population: 4 517 758 (Eurostat 2009)
Joined the European Union: 1 January 1973
Currency: Euro since 1 January 1999 (formerly Irish pound/punt, IEP)

Euro information

Status: Euro-area member since 1 January 1999.

Fixed conversion rate: €1 = 0.787564 IEP

Adoption of the euro: The euro banknotes and coins were introduced in Ireland on 1 January 2002, after a transitional period of three years when the euro was the official currency but only existed as 'book money'. The dual circulation period – when both the Irish pound and the euro had legal tender status – ended on 9 February 2002.

Exchange of former national currency: The Central Bank of Ireland continues to exchange Irish pound banknotes and coins for an unlimited period.

Euro-related queries: webmaster@finance.gov.ie

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