Online Coin Club / Home / General Information / List of Currencies / Irish Pound (pre-decimal)

Information about currency: Irish Pound (pre-decimal)

Currency nameIrish Pound (pre-decimal)
Dates1928 - 1971

1 Pound = 20 Shillings, 1 shilling = 12 Pence


From continuing to use sterling after independence (1922), the new Irish Free State brought in its own currency from 1928. The new Saorstát (Free State) Pound was defined by the 1927 Act to have exactly the same weight and fineness of gold as was the sovereign at the time, having the effect of making the new currency pegged at 1:1 with sterling. De facto rather than de jure, parity with sterling was maintained for another fifty years. As with sterling, the £sd system was used, with the Irish names punt (plural: puint), scilling (plural: scillingí) and pingin (plural: pinginí). Distinctive coins and notes were introduced, the coins from 1928 (in 8 denominations: 1/4d farthing, 1/2d halfpenny, 1d penny, 3d threepence, 6d sixpence, 1s shilling, 2s florin, 2s 6d half crown and in 1966 a 10s coin) – all with the same dimensions as their British counterparts. However, the pound sterling generally continued to be accepted on a one-for-one basis everywhere, whereas the Irish currency was not generally accepted in the United Kingdom.

From 1938, the means of tender was referred to as the Irish Pound, after the Constitution of Ireland changed the state's name. The Currency Act, 1927, Adaptation Order, 1938 was the actual mechanism by which change took place.

The changeover to the decimal pound occurred on Decimal Day, 15 February 1971.

Currency Irish Pound (pre-decimal) was used:
Country From To
Ireland Irish Pound (pre-decimal) 1928 1971