With the European Central Bank (ECB) looking at redesigning euro banknotes, will the stylised animal designs from Ireland’s old coins get a new lease of life or has the time come to showcase some of the country’s famous scientists and musicians? The original animal images on the old Irish coins date from 1927. According to the Central Bank, it was decided at the outset that the coins should bear images of the products of the country rather than patriotic symbols or religious effigies. A committee – chaired by WB Yeats – decided on the theme of featuring Irish animals for the coins. The coins were to include a salmon, a bull and the wolfhound. Following a competition, the coin designs of Englishman Percy Metcalfe were chosen by the committee. Meanwhile, people who featured on Irish banknotes included James Joyce, Daniel O’Connell and Sisters of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley. The list of possible Irish scientists and musicians who could feature on the redesigned euro notes is considerably long. Among the scientists who could be remembered is Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s first female botanist. In her short life – she died in 1815 aged 29 – discovered number of species. Or what about John Philip Holland, the Clare man who developed early submarines. Perhaps we should look at getting an image of John Tyndall on the notes. According to the Tyndall National Institute, the Carlow native’s main interest was the study of the interaction of light with matter, especially gas. He is best known for the explaining why the sky is blue – the scattering of light by small particles suspended in the atmosphere. Read the leading stories from the world of business.
This field is required When it comes to musicians, there is no shortage of contenders– from Luke Kelly to Dolores O’Riordan, The Pogues to Thin Lizzy. The ECB plans to work with European citizens on the redesign, in a process that is expected to lead to a final decision in 2024. Current euro banknote designs are based on an “ages and styles” theme, represented by windows, doorways and bridges. “Euro banknotes are here to stay. They are a tangible and visible symbol that we stand together in Europe, particularly in times of crisis, and there is still a strong demand for them,” ECB president Christine Lagarde, said.