Ireland or Irish Éire is a western European country that occupies five-sixths of the British Isles' westernmost major island. Until 2002, the Irish Pound (IEP) was the national currency of Ireland. The currency comprised 100 pennies called pingin in Irish and often issued with the symbol £ or IR£ to separate it from other currencies like the British pound. The punt Éireannach is the Irish term for the Irish pound.
In 1986, support was slowly beginning to gather for the plan to create a single, pan-European currency with the signing of the Single European Act. This served as a catalyst for a free economic market in Europe without trade barriers. A logical addition to this borderless market would be to develop a single, uniting currency. On 1 January 1999, Ireland was among the earliest countries to have adopted the euro, fixing the Irish pound value at the rate of 0.787564 Irish pounds per euro. The euro existed solely as a virtual currency for three years, to be used for bookkeeping, called a numeraire. It wasn't until January 2002 that they began the circulation of euro coins and banknotes in Ireland and the rest of the European countries around that time.