Irish Coin Daily: Ireland Special €2 commemorative (Centenary of the 1st Dáil Éireann) 2019


The Irish Coin Cabinet, The Old Currency Exchange, Coin Dealer, Dublin, Ireland

Date: 2019

2019 Ireland - Special €2 commemorative coin (Centenary of the 1st Dáil Éireann)

2019 Ireland – Special €2 commemorative coin (Centenary of the 1st Dáil Éireann)

Description:

2019 Ireland – Special €2 commemorative coin (Centenary of the 1st Dáil Éireann). Apart from the Europe-wide coins that all states issue, this is only the second special commemorative €2 coin Ireland has issued on its own since 2002 – the previous one being the 2016 Easter Rising commemorative.

Bimetallic (Nk/Ng)

  • Outer Ring:
    • Cupro-nickel (75% copper – 25% nickel clad on nickel core)
  • Centre:
    • Nickel brass (75% copper – 20% zinc – 5% nickel)
  • Diameter: 25.75 mm
  • Thickness: 2.2 mm
  • Weight: 8.5 g

Mintage: 1,000,000 pieces

  • Issue date: 21st January 1919
  • Designer: Emmet Mullins (Ireland)

Obverse:

  • The design represents the first session of the Dail Eireann in the “Round Room” of the Mansion House (official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin).
    • The upper “bar” represents the gallery with spectators, which arches over the large plenary hall with the many dots represented by dots underneath.
    • Central to the lettering “An Chead Dail” (meaning parliamentary meeting of the first Dail) can be seen in Irish script, above the year “1919”.
    • The country name “EIRE” and the year of issue “2019” finish off the motif.

Reverse:

  • Designed by Luc Luycx and displays a map of Europe, not including Iceland and cutting off, in a semi-circle, at the Bosporus, north through the middle of Ukraine and Belarus and through northern Scandinavia.
    • Cyprus is located further west than it should be
    • Malta is shown disproportionately large so it appears on the map
    • The map has numerous indentations giving an appearance of geography rather than a flat design. Six fine lines cut across the map except where there is landmass and have a star at each end – reflecting the twelve stars on the flag of Europe
  • Across the map is the word EURO
  • A large number 2 appears to the left hand side of the coin
  • The designer’s initials, LL, appear next to Cyprus

Edge:

Ireland - Special €2 commemorative coin (incuse edge design)

Ireland – Special €2 commemorative coin (incuse edge design)         2 ** 2 ** 2 ** 2 ** 2 ** 2 **

  • Fine milled
  • Edge lettering
    • Combination of the number 2 and ** repeated six times

The First Sitting of Dáil Éireann in 1919:

The first sitting of Dáil Éireann took place in the Mansion House, Dublin on 21th January 1919. It followed the December 1918 election to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, where Sinn Féin won a landslide victory in Ireland and refused to take their seats in Westminster. Instead, 21st January 1919, they founded a separate parliament in Dublin called Dáil Éireann (“Assembly of Ireland”).

  • On the night of 11 January, the Dublin Metropolitan Police raided Sinn Féin headquarters and seized drafts of the documents that would be issued at the assembly. As a result, the British administration was fully aware what was being planned.
    • The first meeting of Dáil Éireann began at 3:30pm on 21st January
      • It was held in the Round Room of the Mansion House
      • Dublin’s Mansion House is the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
    • The sitting lasted about two hours
      • Twenty-seven Sinn Féin MPs attended
        • Thirty-four Sinn Féin MPs were in prison
        • Eight others could not attend for various reasons
        • Michael Collins + Harry Boland were marked “i láthair” (present)
        • The Roll was later amended to show they were “as láthair” (absent)
          • At the time, they were in England planning the escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison, and did not wish to draw attention to their absence
      • Although invited, 22 Unionist MPs declined to attend
      • The 6 Irish Parliamentary Party MPs also declined
    • The packed audience in the public gallery above the Round Room rose in acclaim for the members of the Dáil as they walked into the room, and many waved Irish tricolour flags
      • One has to wonder what might have happened if 22 Unionist and 6 IPP MPs had turned up, i.e. they would have had a 28:27 majority on the day and could have played havoc with the proceedings.
On January 21st 1919, the First Dail or independent Irish Parliament met in Dublin and declared an independent Irish Republic.

On January 21st 1919, the First Dail or independent Irish Parliament met in Dublin and declared an independent Irish Republic.

Earlier on the same that day, two RIC officers were shot dead in the Soloheadbeg ambush by IRA volunteers acting on their own initiative – symbolically the beginning of the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921. The conflict developed gradually from there.

 


Other Coins in this series:

 

Further Reading:

 

 

 

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