Ireland joined the European Union in 1973 and was one of the first-wave countries to adopt the euro on 1 January 1999.
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)
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: email@example.com