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New €2 coin launched to commemorate the First Dáil in 1919

A million new coins will go into circulation this year.

100YearsOfDail-Coin A new €2 coin Source: Central Bank of Ireland

TO COMMEMORATE THE first meeting of Dáil Éireann in 1919 The Central Bank is launching a new €2 coin with one million going into circulation this year. 

The first meeting of Sinn Féin MPs elected to the House of Commons was held on 21 January 1919 at the Mansion House where Irish MPs abstaining from taking their seats at Westminster established their own parliament.   

In addition to the new €2 coin, The Central Bank is also issuing a €100 gold coin to commemorate the event. A 1,000 of these coins will be issued and will be available from 16 January when the new coinage is launched at the Mansion House in Dublin.

An annual mint set and proof set with the commemorative €2 coin will also be issued later this year. 

Featuring the words ‘An Chéad Dáil’ – The First Dáil – surrounded by images of the first TDs who attended the landmark meeting in 1919, these new coins were designed by Emmet Mullins. 

download (3) Members of the First Dáil, 10 April 1919 First row, left to right: Laurence Ginnell, Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha, Arthur Griffith, Éamon de Valera, Count Plunkett, Eoin MacNeill, W. T. Cosgrave and Ernest Blythe. Kevin O'Higgins is in the third row (right) Source: Wikimedia

The 1918 General Election saw over 70 Irish representatives elected to Westminster, essentially wiping out the Irish Parliamentary Party – the dominant voice in constitution nationalism for decades. 

On the same day as the historic meeting at the Mansion House in 1919, two Royal Irish Constabulary officers were killed in an ambush by Irish Volunteers at Soloheadbeg in Co. Tipperary. The War of Independence had begun. 

“The meeting of the First Dáil in the Mansion House was a landmark moment on the road to the establishment of the Irish state, and it is quite fitting that we should honour that moment in this way one hundred years on,” Director of Currency and Facilities Management Paul Molumby has said. 

It’s only the second time the Central Bank has issued a special circulating euro coin. In 2016, it issued 4.5 million special €2 coins to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. 

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