The Irish punt, often simply referred to as the punt, was the currency of Ireland before the country adopted the euro.
In essence it was the Irish version of the British Pound Sterling, and the two currencies were closely linked for many years.
What is a Punt in Ireland?
The Irish punt was in circulation from 1928 until 2002.
The official name of the currency was the Irish pound (in Irish: punt Éireannach), and it was symbolized by the abbreviation “£” or “IR£” to distinguish it from other pound currencies, most notably the British variant.
Irish Punt Details
The punt was subdivided into 100 smaller units called pence (singular: penny), just like the British pound.
The currency underwent several changes over its existence, including decimalisation in 1971, which replaced the old system of pounds, shillings, and pence (often now referred to as “old money”) with a decimal-based system where 1 pound was equivalent to 100 new pence (p).
In 1999, as part of the broader European Union initiative to introduce a single currency, the euro, Ireland decided to adopt the euro as its official currency. This transition occurred on January 1, 2002, when the Irish punt ceased to be legal tender, and the euro became the sole currency used for transactions in Ireland.
The adoption of the euro allowed for greater financial integration with other European countries and simplified cross-border trade and travel within the Eurozone.