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Ballykinlar Camp Tokens 1921 - Limerick Soviet Notes 1919 - RoMa Local Currency Tokens Tokens 1999

Ballykinlar Internment Camp Tokens

Issued by the internees for use within the camp
1919 - 1921

Ballykinlar Internment Camp Tokens 1919-1921

This page is currently under active revision: Addition of more detailed information. Addition of detailed references, with urls where available.

During the Irish war of independence the British military commenced the internment of known Irish nationalists at Ballykinlar. The camp was located at Abercorn Barracks in present day Northern Ireland.

There were two internment camps at Ballykinlar, Camp I and Camp II, which were located right beside each other

At its peak the internment camp was home to several thousand internees. The camp was rather like a POW camp in that it had a certain autonomy over its own internal affairs. One of the manifestations of this was the issue of tokens by the internees for use as currency inside the camp, and also likely for publicity purposes. It is quite likely that the English guards, and even their officers were unable to read the text in Irish on the tokens.

There were several attempts at running a currency system inside the camp. The final version of the camp tokens were the circular tokens pictured below.

The production of these 'coins' was organised by the internees with the agreement of the camp authorities. The coins were printed free of charge by O'Loughlan, Murphy and Boland printers in Dublin. The Camp Treasurer, Martin Ryan organised and adminitered the camp curency. After the release of the internees £165 remained in the coffers of the Treasurer.

Many of the coins were retained by the internees after the general relaease in December 1921.

The Ballykinlar tokens are known in six denominations

1d; 3d; 6d; 1 Shilling; 5 Shillings; One Pound. A 10 Shilling denomination may also have been printed.

The tokens are written in Irish in so-called 'old script' on the obverse, which translates as: 'Irish imprisoned in Ballykinlar'. 'Camp Two' across the centre.

On the reverse is an advertisement, in English, of the printers of the tokens.

The lower four denominations were of the same size, and had a similar reverse, shown with the 1 Shilling token, below.

The diameters of the tokens were approximately 56mm for the four lower denominations; 65mm, 5 Shilling; and 75mm, One Pound.

Ballykinlar token
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for One Penny

Ballykinlar token 3d
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Three Pence

Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Six Pence
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Six Pence

Ballykinlar token One Shilling
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for One Shilling, with reverse

Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Five Shillings
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Five Shillings, with reverse

Ballykinlar token 10 Shillings
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for Ten Shillings
NOTE: The 10 Shilling token has been confirmed to be the same size as the 5 Shilling token

Ballykinlar token One Pound
Ballykinlar Internment Camp token for One Pound, with reverse

Pictures are actual size, and are shown to scale.

A 2/6 Shilling token has been rumoured to exist, but no examples or images have been seen as yet.

Working version, under revision Working version, under revision. Not to be quoted. Last update 02.03.22.

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