Modern Irish Banknotes

Irish Banknotes for sale (coming soon)

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Political Notes & Bonds

Pre-1928 Irish Banknotes

Post-Independence Issues

A-Series (Currency Commission of Ireland – Sterling)

Currency Commission Saorstat Eireann

The Currency Commission (Coimisiún Airgid Reatha) of the Irish Free State, was created by the Currency Act, 1927 (Section 14) as part of the policy of the Irish Free State to set up and issue its own currency, sometimes known as the ‘Saorstát pound’. The Currency Commission commissioned the “A Series” Banknotes, through the advice of an advisory commission.

  • Link: Currency Act, 1927
  • It also issued the Ploughman series of banknotes for Irish banks, which circulated until 1953
  • The Chairman of the Currency Commission was Joseph Brennan

On the adoption of the Constitution of Ireland in 1937 the Currency Commission of the Irish Free State became the Currency Commission of Ireland. In 1942 the Currency Commission was superseded by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Consolidated Banks (Ploughman) Series

This series of banknotes were never legal tender notes but essentially equivalent to “promissory notes” that continue to be issued today by some banks in Northern Ireland and Scotland.  These notes were first issued between 6 May and 10 June 1929 on the proviso that the eight banks operating in the Irish Free State withdrew their previously issued notes from circulation and ceased to issue their own notes.

  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £1 notes
  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £5 notes
  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £10 notes
  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £20 notes – all withdrawn by CBI
  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £50 note – all withdrawn by CBI
  • O’Brien Banknote Price Guide 2016: Ploughman £100 notes – all withdrawn by CBI


The consolidated bank notes were only issued by the Currency Commission of Ireland and the last notes were printed in 1941.  As such, it was a period of transition whereby a new Central Bank was set up by the newly independent Irish Free State. It also meant that the Bank of Ireland stopped acting as an intermittent, quasi-central bank.  These beautiful notes were officially withdrawn on 31 December 1953. These Irish banks continued to issue their own notes in Northern Ireland – albeit with new designs.

A-Series (Central Bank of Ireland – Sterling)

A-Series (Central Bank of Ireland – Irish Pounds)

The main difference between these notes and previous versions is the disappearance of the panels stating that this note was “Payable on Demand in London” and the word Sterling.  All banknotes issued by the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland between 1928 and 1977 were Sterling notes and guaranteed by the Bank of England – based on Ireland’s ‘specie’ holdings in London.  They were also printed by the Bank of England in London.

Sterling panel - £1


This series of notes was commissioned by the Central Bank of Ireland and circulated between 1976 and 1982.  The theme chosen for these notes was history of Ireland – each note featured a person from a particular era from early medieval to modern.  The Lady Lavery portrait, from Series A, was retained as a watermark.  A £100 note was designed but was never issued or circulated.  In 1976, Ireland broke from Sterling and ‘floated’ (with mixed results) as an independent currency.  They also coincided with the opening of the new (Irish) Mint run by the Central Bank at Sandyford, Co Dublin.


This series of notes is known as “Series C” and the designs are the output from a limited competition held in 1991 in which nine Irish artists were invited – the winner was Robert Ballagh. This series of notes had denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 – with no pound note, since there a coin of this value circulating since 1990. The £20 was the first to be issued, following widespread forgery of the Series B (W.B. Yeats) £20 note.  The theme for this series was people who contributed to the formation of a modern Ireland, and features politicians, a language, literary and religious figures.


We buy current, recent and old banknotes

We buy banknotes from all over the world. This includes Irish, British, European and all countries worldwide. We especially like older (vintage) banknotes but will gladly accept your old holiday change, or accumulations in old wallets, junk boxes and attic clearances. Please note, some countries make their banknotes obsolete every 10 years or so, and these banknotes are no longer legal tender for foreign exchange purposes, e.g. Canada and Switzerland change their banknotes regularly to prevent counterfeiting and tax evasion.

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