What is the 'IEP (Irish Pound)'

IEP (Irish Pound) was the foreign exchange (FX) currency symbol, for the Irish pound, the money of Ireland until 2002. The Irish pound comprised 100 pennies, called pingin or in Irish, and often appeared with the symbol £ or IR£ to set it apart from other currencies based in pounds. The Irish term for the Irish pound is the punt Éireannach.


IEP dates back to the first millennium C.E. Following the Act of Union, which joined Ireland and Great Britain into one kingdom, this first Irish pound assimilated into the British Pound.

After the Irish Free State formed in 1922, trade with the U.K. continued to dominate the Irish economy. The government did not see the need to prioritize the creation of a new currency. It wasn’t until 1927 that the Irish government began issuing the Irish pound, pegging it to British sterling at parity. The government also promised full convertibility to the Great British Pound (GBP) sterling.

For more than a decade, the Irish government managed its currency through a Currency Board. In 1942, the legislature passed a law to establish the Central Bank of Ireland. Even after creating the new monetary authority, Ireland retained pegging of its pound to the pound sterling. This practice continued still after Ireland departed from the Commonwealth and declared a Republic in 1948. When the pound sterling was devalued within the Bretton Woods system in 1949, and again in 1967, Ireland did not change its currency's pegging.

The 1970s were a decade of monetary reform in Ireland. First the nation decimalization the Irish pound and then with the Central Bank Act of 1971. This Act delegated new powers to the monetary authority and ultimately led to Ireland’s participation in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1978. In 1979, the formal link with the British Pound was, at last, broken.

The Euro Replaces the Irish Pound

Momentum for the creation of a single, pan-European currency began to gather support in 1986, with the signing of the Single European Act, setting the stage for a market without frontiers. A logical complement to this borderless market would be a single, unifying currency.

Ireland was one of the earliest countries to adopt the euro on the first of January, 1999, fixing the value of the Irish pound to the euro at the rate of 0.787564 Irish pounds. For three years, the euro existed as a virtual currency for bookkeeping purposes. It wasn’t until January 2002 that the circulation of euro banknotes and coins in Ireland began.

According to World Bank data, Ireland experiences a negative 0.3% annual inflation rate deflator and has a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of a 7.8%, as of 2017, which is the most current year of available data.

  1. Euronext Dublin

    Euronext Dublin was formed in March 2018 when the Irish Stock ...
  2. Quid

    Quid is a nickname for the British pound, also called the pound ...
  3. GBP/USD (British Pound/U.S. Dollar) ...

    The abbreviation for the British pound and U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) ...
  4. Black Wednesday

    Black Wednesday refers to September 16, 1992, when a collapse ...
  5. PIIGS

    PIIGS is an acronym for five of the most economically weak eurozone ...
  6. Equilibrium Quantity

    Equilibrium quantity represents the amount of an item that is ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    How to Retire in Ireland on $200,000

    Many retirees going to Ireland find that the slower pace translates into a higher quality of life, but can you do it for $200,000? The answer is yes.
  2. Insights

    Irish Finance Minister to Fight Apple's EU Tax Bill (AAPL)

    The European Commission might have to wait awhile to collect the 13 billion euro ($14.4 billion) it says Apple owes.
  3. Investing

    Apple Files Appeal Against EU Ruling

    Apple claims its taxes are attributable to the U.S., not Ireland. It also wants reimbursement from the EU for charges related to the case.
  4. Insights

    Apple Has to Pay up to $14 Billion in Back Taxes Plus Interest (AAPL)

    The European Commission has ruled that Apple received unfair tax benefits from Ireland.
  5. Insights

    Wall Street Likes St. Paddy's Day

    Historically, the S&P 500 has been more likely to rise on St. Patrick’s than the vast majority of other days in the year.
  6. Retirement

    Find the 5 Top Places for Retiring in Ireland

    From historic, bustling Dublin to the seaside villages of the coasts, these appealing Irish towns deserve a spot on your retirement-destination radar.
  7. Personal Finance

    Apple’s Japan Unit Ordered to Pay $118 Million Tax Penalty (AAPL)

    Apple’s iTunes unit in Japan was sending earnings from software licensing fees paid by Japanese customers to an Apple unit in Ireland.
  8. Investing

    Apple, Ireland Amp Up Rhetoric Against EU In Tax Case (AAPL, GOOG)

    Apple claims it has been unfairly targeted by an EU commissioner driven by headlines.
  9. Investing

    How Brexit Can Impact the Euro and the U.S. Dollar

    Find out why Brexit could threaten the short-term stability of the British pound sterling and the euro, and why the U.S. dollar stands to benefit.
  10. Trading

    The British Pound: What Every Forex Trader Needs To Know

    As a strong alternative to the dollar it is likely that the pound will remain a preeminent global currency for some time to come.
  1. Why is Ireland sometimes referred to as a tax haven?

    Ireland is referred to as a tax haven because of the country's taxation and economic policies, including legislation that ... Read Answer >>
  2. How did George Soros break the Bank of England?

    George Soros pocketed $1 billion by betting against the British pound, cementing his reputation as the premier currency speculator ... Read Answer >>
  3. What currency is affected by the interest rate decisions of the Bank of England (BoE)? ...

    The Bank of England (BoE) is responsible for the interest rate decisions that affect the economy of Great Britain. As with ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do I convert one type of currency to another, such as dollars to pounds?

    Currency can be converted through online exchanges or manually, but you must look up the rate with an online calculator or ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do central banks acquire currency reserves and how much are they required to ...

    A currency reserve is a currency that is held in large amounts by governments and other institutions as part of their foreign ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center