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A Series Banknotes

Currency Commission Ireland and Central Bank of Ireland

Legal Tender Notes 1928 – 1977: Fourteen Types

Lady Lavery Notes

The Currency Act, 1927 provided for the establishment of the Currency Commission Ireland and empowered it to issue, control and manage a new Irish currency, the Saorstat Pound, later termed the A Series Legal Tender Notes. Six of the nine Joint Stock commercial banks operating on the island of Ireland had the right to issue notes. The new note issue was to replace the notes of these commercial banks in circulation.

For stability, the currency was linked to and exchangeable at par with the British Pound Sterling. The Irish Pound was divided into 20 shillings, and issued in seven denominations, 10 Shillings, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100.

The design of the A Series Legal Tender banknotes were intended to have a strongly Celtic flavour, and to avoid any political symbolism. The Currency Commission had specified that an archetypal Irish Cailin (Girl) should form the central theme of the design of the notes. She was to symbolise the Irish State, a type of symbol often used in the past. The banknotes were designed by Mr. John Harrison, the Chief Portrait Engraver of Waterlow and Sons Ltd, London, who were to print the notes. He used as a template for the Lady of the notes a portrait by Sir John Lavery R.A. of his wife, Hazel, Lady Lavery. Thus the notes are colloquially referred to as the Lady Lavery series.

The A Series note design circulated from 1928 to 1982, with the £100 note remaining in use until it was replaced by a new design in 1995.

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