The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC; the instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era. Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut, metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck and strings, frame harps have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while open harps, such as arch harps and bow harps, do not.
Modern harps vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticism of the strings, such as adjusting a string's note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. The pedal harp is a standard instrument in the orchestra of the Romantic music era and the contemporary music era; the earliest harps and lyres were found in Sumer, 3500 BC, several harps were found in burial pits and royal tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar can be seen adjacent to the Near East, in the wall paintings of ancient Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley, which date from as early as 3000 BC; these murals show an instrument that resembles the hunter's bow, without the pillar that we find in modern harps. The chang flourished in Persia in many forms from its introduction, about 4000 BC, until the 17th century. Around 1900 BC arched harps in the Iraq–Iran region were replaced by angular harps with vertical or horizontal sound boxes. By the start of the Common Era, "robust, angular harps", which had become predominant in the Hellenistic world, were cherished in the Sasanian court.
In the last century of the Sasanian period, angular harps were redesigned to make them as light as possible. At the height of the Persian tradition of illustrated book production, such light harps were still depicted, although their use as musical instruments was reaching its end; the works of the Tamil Sangam literature describe the harp and its variants, as early as 200 BC. Variants were described ranging from 14 to 17 strings, the instrument used by wandering minstrels for accompaniment. Iconographic evidence in of the yaal appears in temple statues dated as early as 500 BC One of the Sangam works, the Kallaadam recounts how the first yaaḻ harp was inspired by an archer's bow, when he heard the musical sound of its twang. Another early South Asian harp was the ancient veena; some Samudragupta gold coins show of the mid-4th century AD show the king Samudragupta himself playing the instrument. The ancient veena survives today in the form of the saung harp still played there; the harp was popular in ancient China and neighboring regions, though harps are extinct in East Asia in the modern day.
The Chinese konghou harp is documented as early as the Spring and Autumn period, became extinct during the Ming Dynasty. A similar harp, the gonghu was played in ancient Korea, documented as early as the Goguryeo period. Harps are triangular and made of wood. Strings are made of gut or wire replaced in the modern day by nylon, or metal; the top end of each string is secured on the crossbar or neck, where each will have a tuning peg or similar device to adjust the pitch. From the crossbar, the string runs down to the sounding board on the resonating body, where it is secured with a knot, it is the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard, as well as tension and weight of the string, which decide the pitch of the string. The body is hollow, when a taut string is plucked, the body resonates, projecting sound; the longest side of the harp is called the column or pillar, though some earlier harps, such as a "bow harp", lack a pillar. On most harps the sole purpose of the pillar is to hold up the neck against the great strain of the strings.
On harps which have pedals, the pillar is a hollow column and encloses the rods which adjust the pitches, which are levered by pressing pedals at the base of the instrument. On harps of earlier design, a given string can play only a single note without retuning. In many cases this means such a harp can only play in one key at a time and must be manually retuned to play in another key. Various remedies to this limitation evolved: the addition of extra strings to cover chromatic notes, addition of small levers on the crossbar which when actuated raise the pitch of a string by a set interval, or use of pedals at the base of the instrument which change the pitch of a string when pressed with the foot; these solutions increase the versatility of a harp at the cost of adding complexity and expense. While the angle and bow harps held popularity
The Taoiseach is the prime minister and head of government of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas, must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil; the word taoiseach means "chief" or "leader" in Irish and was adopted in the 1937 Constitution of Ireland as the title of the "head of the Government, or Prime Minister". Taoiseach is the official title of the head of government in both English and Irish, is not used for other countries' prime ministers; the Irish form, An Taoiseach, is sometimes used in English instead of "the Taoiseach". Outside of Ireland, the Taoiseach is sometimes referred to as the Prime Minister of Ireland. Leo Varadkar TD is the current Taoiseach. Varadkar is the youngest Taoiseach in the history of the Irish state, having taken office at the age of 38. Under the Constitution of Ireland, the Taoiseach is nominated by a simple majority of Dáil Éireann from among its members.
He/she is formally appointed to office by the President, required to appoint whomever the Dáil designates, without the option of declining to make the appointment. For this reason, it is said that the Taoiseach is "elected" by Dáil Éireann. If the Taoiseach loses the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann, he/she is not automatically removed from office but, rather, is compelled either to resign or to persuade the President to dissolve the Dáil; the President may refuse to grant a dissolution and, in effect, force the Taoiseach to resign. The Taoiseach may lose the support of Dáil Éireann by the passage of a vote of no confidence, or implicitly through the failure of a vote of confidence. In the event of the Taoiseach's resignation, he/she continues to exercise the duties and functions of his/her office until the appointment of a successor; the Taoiseach nominates the remaining members of the Government, who are with the consent of the Dáil, appointed by the President. The Taoiseach has authority to advise the President to dismiss cabinet ministers from office, advice the President is required to follow by convention.
The Taoiseach is further responsible for appointing eleven members of the Seanad. The Department of the Taoiseach is the government department which supports and advises the Taoiseach in carrying out his/her various duties. Since 2013, the Taoiseach's annual salary is €185,350, it was cut from €214,187 to €200,000 when Enda Kenny took office, before being cut further to €185,350 under the Haddington Road Agreement in 2013. A proposed increase of €38,000 in 2007 was deferred when Brian Cowen became Taoiseach and in October 2008, the government announced a 10% salary cut for all ministers, including the Taoiseach; however this was a voluntary cut and the salaries remained nominally the same with both ministers and Taoiseach refusing 10% of their salary. This courted controversy in December 2009 when a salary cut of 20% was based on the higher figure before the refused amount was deducted; the Taoiseach is allowed an additional €118,981 in annual expenses. There is no official residence of the Taoiseach.
In 2008 it was reported speculatively that the former Steward's Lodge at Farmleigh adjoining the Phoenix Park would become the official residence of the Taoiseach. The house, which forms part of the Farmleigh estate acquired by the State in 1999 for €29.2m, was renovated at a cost of nearly €600,000 in 2005 by the Office of Public Works. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern did not use it as a residence, but his successor Brian Cowen used it "from time to time"; the words Tánaiste are both from the Irish language and of ancient origin. Though the Taoiseach is described in the Constitution of Ireland as "the head of the Government or Prime Minister", its literal translation is chieftain or leader. Although Éamon de Valera, who introduced the title in 1937, was neither a Fascist nor a dictator, it has sometimes been remarked that the meaning leader in 1937 made the title similar to the titles of Fascist dictators of the time, such as Führer and Caudillo. Tánaiste, in turn, refers to the system of tanistry, the Gaelic system of succession whereby a leader would appoint an heir apparent while still living.
In Scottish Gaelic, tòiseach translates as clan chief and both words had similar meanings in the Gaelic languages of Scotland and Ireland. The related Welsh language word tywysog has meaning, it is hypothesized that both derive from the proto-Celtic *towissākos "chieftain, leader". The plural of taoiseach is taoisigh. Although the Irish form An Taoiseach is sometimes used in English instead of "the Taoiseach", the English version of the Constitution states that he or she "shall be called... the Taoiseach". In 1937 when the draft Constitution of Ireland was being debated in the Dáil, Frank MacDermot, an opposition politician, moved an amendment to substitute "Prime Minister" for the proposed "Taoiseach" title in the English text of the Constitution, it was proposed to keep the "Taoiseach" title in the Irish language text. The proponent remarked: It seems to me to be mere make-believe to try to incorporate a word like "Taoiseach" in the Eng
Gaelic type is a family of Insular script typefaces devised for printing Classical Gaelic. It was used from the 16th until the mid-18th century or the mid-20th century but is now used. Sometimes, all Gaelic typefaces are called Celtic or uncial although most Gaelic types are not uncials; the "Anglo-Saxon" types of the 17th century are included in this category because both the Anglo-Saxon types and the Gaelic/Irish types derive from the Insular manuscript hand. The terms Gaelic type, Gaelic script and Irish character translate the Irish phrase cló Gaelach. In Ireland, the term cló Gaelach is used in opposition to Roman type; the Scottish Gaelic term is corra-litir. Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair was one of the last Scottish writers with the ability to write in this script, but his main work, Ais-Eiridh na Sean Chánoin Albannaich, was published in the Roman script. Besides the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, Gaelic typefaces must include all vowels with acute accents ⟨Áá Éé Íí Óó Úú⟩ as well as a set of consonants with dot above ⟨Ḃḃ Ċċ Ḋḋ Ḟḟ Ġġ Ṁṁ Ṗṗ Ṡṡ Ṫṫ⟩, the Tironian sign et ⟨⁊⟩, used for agus'and' in Irish.
Gaelic typefaces often include insular forms: ⟨ꞃ ꞅ⟩ of the letters ⟨r⟩ and ⟨s⟩, some of the typefaces contain a number of ligatures used in earlier Gaelic typography and deriving from the manuscript tradition. Lower-case ⟨i⟩ is drawn without a dot, the letters ⟨d f g t⟩ have insular shapes ⟨ꝺ ꝼ ᵹ ꞇ⟩. Many modern Gaelic typefaces include Gaelic letterforms for the letters ⟨j k q v w x y z⟩, provide support for at least the vowels of the other Celtic languages, they distinguish between ⟨&⟩ and ⟨⁊⟩, though some modern fonts replace the ampersand with the Tironian note ostensibly because both mean'and'. The Irish uncial alphabet originated in medieval manuscripts as an "insular" variant of the Latin alphabet; the first Gaelic typeface was designed in 1571 for a catechism commissioned by Elizabeth I to help attempt to convert the Irish Catholic population to Anglicanism. Typesetting in Gaelic script remained common in Ireland until the mid-20th century. Gaelic script is today used for decorative typesetting.
Edward Lhuyd's grammar of the Cornish language used Gaelic-script consonants to indicate sounds like and. In 1996 Raidió Teilifís Éireann created a new corporate logo; the logo consists of a modern take on the Gaelic type face. The R's counter is large with a short tail, the T is roman script while the E is curved but does not have a counter like a lower case E, the letters have slight serifs to them. TG4's original logo, under the brand TnaG used a modernization of the font, the use of the curved T and a sans-serif A in the word "na". Other Irish companies that have used Gaelic script in their logos including the GAA, Telecom Éireann and An Post; the Garda Síochána uses Gaelic Script on its official seal. The GAA logo uses the script to incorporate both the English language GAA acronym and the Irish language CLG acronym; the logo more shows the more used acronym GAA but taking a closer look a C joins with an L and to a G lying down. Unicode treats the Gaelic script as a font variant of the Latin alphabet.
A lowercase insular g was added in version 4.1 as part of the Phonetic Extensions block because of its use in Irish linguistics as a phonetic character for. Unicode 5.1 added a capital G and both capital and lowercase letters D, F, R, S, T, besides "turned insular G", on the basis that Edward Lhuyd used these letters in his 1707 work Archaeologia Britannica as a scientific orthography for Cornish. Ꝺ ꝺ Insular D ◌ᷘ Combining Small Insular D Ꝼ ꝼ Insular F Ᵹ ᵹ Insular G Ꝿ ꝿ Turned insular G Ꞃ ꞃ Insular R Ꞅ ꞅ Insular S Ꞇ ꞇ Insular T In each figure above, the first sentence is a pangram and reads:Chuaigh bé mhórshách le dlúthspád fíorfhinn trí hata mo dhea-phorcáin bhig,Ċuaiġ bé ṁórṡáċ le dlúṫspád fíorḟinn trí hata mo ḋea-ṗorcáin ḃig, meaning "A maiden of great appetite with an intensely white, dense spade went through my good little porker’s hat". The second sentence reads:Duibhlinn/Ceanannas an cló a úsáidtear anseo, meaning "Duibhlinn/Ceannanas is the font used here"; the second sentence uses the short forms of the letters r and s.
See: Long s and R rotunda. Blackletter Fraktur Irish orthography ISO/IEC 8859-14 Theobald Stapleton Lynam, E. W. 1969. The Irish character in print: 1571–1923. New York: Barnes & Noble. First printed as Oxford University Press offprint 1924 in Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 4th Series, Vol. IV, No. 4, March 1924.) McGuinne, Dermot. Irish type design: A history of printing types in the Irish character. Blackrock: Irish Academic Press. ISBN 0-7165-2463-5 Brendan Leen's Four centuries of printing in the Irish character, Cregan Library, St Patrick's College, Drumcondra Vincent Morley's An Cló Gaelach Mícheál Ó Searcóid's The Irish Alphabet, an article on the origin and present-day usage of the Irish typeface, 1990 Mathew D. Staunton's Trojan Horses and Friendly Faces: Irish Gaelic Typography as Propaganda. La revue LISA. ISSN 1762-6153. Vol. III. 2005. Bunchló GC, a Gaelic modern minuscule font in Un
Coins of the Republic of Ireland
There have been three sets of coins in Ireland since independence. In all three, the coin showed a Celtic harp on the obverse; the pre-decimal coins of the Irish pound had realistic animals on the reverse. The pre-decimal and original decimal coins were of the same dimensions as the same-denomination British coins, as the Irish pound was in currency union with the British pound sterling. British coins were accepted in Ireland, conversely to a lesser extent. In 1979 Ireland joined the Irish pound left parity with sterling; the first coins minted in Ireland were produced in about 995 AD in Dublin for King Sitric, the Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin. These penny coins bore the name of the king and the word Dyflin for Dublin. John of England was among the first Anglo-Norman monarchs to mint coins in Ireland, it was not until the reign of Henry VIII that Irish coins bore the harp and in Henry's reign, the year. In the following centuries gold and copper coins were issued, at one time, metal from melted-down gun barrels was used.
Coins issued in the 18th and 19th centuries included the word Hibernia on the harp side. The last Irish coins issued prior to independence were during the reign of George IV, in 1823. Irish coins were withdrawn in 1826 following the full political union of Ireland and Britain in the 1800 Act of Union. Occasional "fantasy" coins were minted in the next century but these were neither circulated nor legal tender; the Irish Free State decided soon after its foundation in the 1920s to design its own coins and banknotes. It was decided; the Coinage Act, 1926 was passed as a legislative basis for the minting of coins for the state and these new coins commenced circulation on 12 December 1928. The decision was for economic reasons because, in 1924, 98% of Irish exports went to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while 80% of imports were from those territories. Additionally, the stability and backing of the pound sterling reassured the government that the new currency was on a firm foundation and did not weaken efforts to rebuild the country and economically, the government's first commitment.
As is common with numismatic terminology the side of the seal of the state is termed the "obverse". Coins are issued by the central bank. In the early 1920s, the Irish government created a committee headed by Senator W. B. Yeats to determine designs suitable for the coins; the committee members were Dermot O'Brien, Lucius O'Callaghan and Barry Egan. Some decisions were made at the outset; the harp was to be on most if not all coins, all lettering would be in Irish. The committee decided that people associated with "the present time" should not feature in any designs, no doubt due to the political divisions which had led to the Irish Civil War, they decided that religious or cultural themes should be avoided in case coins became relics or medals. Agriculture was essential to the economy of Ireland and this theme was chosen for the coins, which used designs featuring animals and birds; the harp and the words Saorstát Éireann were chosen for the obverse side of coins. Images of animals and birds were presented to the chosen artists to design the reverse and they were given pictures of the Galway harp and Trinity College harp for guidance.
The Minister for Finance decided that the value of the coins should be written in numerals as well as in words, he suggested using plants. Three Irish artists Jerome Connor, Albert Power and Oliver Sheppard were chosen, the foreign artists Paul Manship, Percy Metcalfe Carl Milles and Publio Morbiducci; each artist was paid and allowed to produce designs in plaster or metal, with a prize for the winner. Identifying marks were removed from the designs so the committee did not know whose designs were being judged. Percy Metcalfe's designs were chosen and design modifications were added with assistance from civil servants at the Department of Agriculture; the first coins were minted at the Royal Mint in London. In 1938, following the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland, the obverse of the coins was modified with the Irish language name of the State, "Éire", the harp was modified so that it wore better; the Central Bank Act, 1942 Section 58 allowed pure nickel to be substituted with a cupro-nickel alloy.
The description of the state as the "Republic of Ireland" did not require any change in the name on coins issued after 1948. The Coinage Act, 1950 changed the law on coinage principally with the removal of silver from coins in existence; the final piece of primary legislation for predecimal coins was the Coinage Act, 1966 which allowed for a ten shilling coin to be minted and circulated. The ten shilling was the only modern circulating Irish coin not to feature the harp, to incorporate edge lettering, to depict an actual Irishman, to depict a political subject (Pearse was an Irish revolutionary and the edge lettering referred to the 19
The Celtic harp is a square harp traditional to Ireland and Scotland. It is known as cláirseach in clàrsach in Scottish Gaelic. In Ireland and Scotland, it was a wire-strung instrument requiring great skill and long practice to play, was associated with the Gaelic ruling class, it appears on Irish and British coins and coat of arms of the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada. The early history of the triangular frame harp in Europe is contested; the first instrument associated with the harping tradition in the Gaelic world was known as a cruit. This word may have described a different stringed instrument, being etymologically related to the Welsh crwth, it has been suggested that the word clàrsach / cláirseach was coined for the triangular frame harp which replaced the cruit, that this coining was of Scottish origin. Three of the four oldest authentic harps to survive are of Gaelic provenance: the Trinity College Harp preserved in Trinity College Dublin, the Queen Mary Harp and the Lamont Harp in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
The last two are examples of the small low-headed harp, are both made from hornbeam, a wood not native to Scotland or Ireland. All three are dated to the 15th century and may have been made in Argyll in western Scotland. Many “Irish” harps from periods have no provenance and could be of Scottish origin; the Norman-Welsh cleric and scholar Gerald of Wales, whose Topographica Hibernica et Expugnatio Hibernica is a description of Ireland from the Anglo-Norman point of view, praised Irish harp music, but added that, in the opinion of many, the Scots had now surpassed them in that skill. Gerald refers to the cythara and the tympanum, but their identification with the harp is uncertain, it is not known that he visited Scotland. Scotland, because of her affinity and intercourse, tries to imitate Ireland in music and strives in emulation. Ireland uses and delights in two instruments only, the harp namely, the tympanum. Scotland uses three, the harp, the tympanum, the crowd. In the opinion, however, of many, Scotland has by now not only caught up on Ireland, her instructor, but far outdistances her and excels her in musical skill.
Therefore, people now look to that country as the fountain of the art. Early images of the clàrsach are not common in Scottish iconography, but a gravestone at Kiells, in Argyllshire, dating from about 1500, shows one with a large soundbox, decorated with Gaelic designs; the Irish Maedoc book shrine dates from the 11th century, shows a harper with a triangular framed harp including a "T-Section" in the pillar. The Irish word lamhchrann or Scottish Gaelic làmh-chrann came into use at an unknown date to indicate this pillar which would have supplied the bracing to withstand the tension of a wire-strung harp. Three pre-16th-century examples survive today. One of the largest and most complete collections of 17th–18th century harp music is the work of Turlough O'Carolan, a blind, itinerant Irish harper and composer. At least 220 of his compositions survive to this day. In construction the Irish and Scottish harps may in general be considered as one. A characteristic feature is the metal strings. Historical sources mention various types including brass and iron.
The wires were attached to a massive soundbox carved from a single log of willow, although other woods including alder and poplar have been identified in extant harps. This harp had a reinforced curved pillar and a substantial neck, flanked with thick brass cheek bands; the strings played with the fingernails, produced a brilliant ringing sound. This type of harp is unique amongst single row triangular harps in that the first two strings tuned in the middle of the gamut were set to the same pitch. In Scottish Gaelic, the names of the components of the clàrsach were as follows: amhach cnagan corr com làmh-chrann teudan cruidhean nan teud urshnaim; the corr had a brass strap nailed to each side, pierced by tapered brass tuning pins. The treble end had a tenon. On a low-headed harp the corr was morticed at the bass end to receive a tenon on the làmh-chrann; the com was carved from a single piece of willow, hollowed out from behind. A panel of harder timber was inserted to close the back. Cruidhean nan teud were made of brass and prevented the metal strings from cutting into the wood of the soundbox.
The urshnaim may refer to the wooden toggle to which a string was fastened once it had emerged from its hole in the soundboard. The playing of the wire-strung harp has been described as difficult; because of the long-lasting resonance, the performer had to dampen strings which had just been played while new strings were being plucked, this while playing rapidly. Contrary to conventional modern practice, the left hand played the right the bass, it was said that a player should begin to learn the harp no than the age of seven. The best modern players have shown, that reasonable competence may be achieved at a age. During the medieval period the wire-strung harp was in demand throughout the Gaelic territories, which stretched from the northern Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland to the south of Ireland; the Gaelic worlds of Scotland and Ire
Banknotes of the euro, the currency of the euro area and institutions, have been in circulation since the first series was issued in 2002. They are issued by the national central banks of the European Central Bank. In 1999 the euro was introduced and in 2002 notes and coins began to circulate; the euro took over from the former national currencies and expanded around the European Union. Denominations of the notes range from €5 to €500 and, unlike euro coins, the design is identical across the whole of the Eurozone, although they are issued and printed in various member states; the euro banknotes are pure cotton fibre, which improves their durability as well as giving the banknotes a distinctive feel. They measure from 120 by 62 millimetres to 160 by 82 millimetres and have a variety of colour schemes; the euro notes contain many complex security features such as watermarks, invisible ink and microprinting that document their authenticity. While euro coins have a national side indicating the country of issue, euro notes lack this.
Instead, this information is shown by the first character of each note's serial number. According to European Central Bank estimates, in August 2018, there were about 21.737 billion banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone, with a total value of about €1.193 trillion. On 8 November 2012, the European Central Bank announced that the first series of notes would be replaced by the Europa series, starting with the 5 euro note on 2 May 2013. Estimates suggest that the average life of a euro banknote is about three years before it is replaced due to wear, but individual lifespans vary depending on denomination, from less than a year for €5 banknote to over 30 years for €500 banknote. High denomination banknotes last longer; the Europa series is designed to last longer than the previous one. The euro came into existence on 1 January 1999; the euro's creation had been a goal of its predecessors since the 1960s. The Maastricht Treaty entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK and Denmark.
In 1999, the currency was born and in 2002 notes and coins began to circulate. It took over from the former national currencies and expanded around the rest of the EU. In 2009, the Lisbon Treaty formalised the Euro's political authority, the Euro Group, alongside the European Central Bank. Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Latvia in 2014 and Lithuania in 2015. There are seven different denominations of the euro banknotes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500; each has a distinctive size. The designs for each of them have a common theme of European architecture in various artistic eras; the obverse of the banknote features windows or gateways while the reverse bears different types of bridges. The architectural examples are stylised not representations of existing monuments. All the notes of the initial series of euro notes bear the European flag, a map of the continent on the reverse, the name "euro" in both Latin and Greek script and the signature of a president of the ECB, depending on when the banknote was printed.
The 12 stars from the flag are incorporated into every note. The notes carry the acronyms of the name of the European Central Bank in five linguistic variants, covering all official languages of the EU in 2002, now 19 out of 24 official languages of the EU28, in the following order: BCE ECB EZB ΕΚΤ EKP The order is determined by the EU country listing order, with BCE ahead of ECB because of the national precedence of Belgium's two main languages, followed by the remaining languages of Germany and Finland, in that order; the euro banknote initial designs were chosen from 44 proposals in a design competition, launched by the Council of the European Monetary Institute on 12 February 1996. The winning entry, created by Robert Kalina from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, was selected on 3 December 1996; the euro banknotes are pure cotton fibre, which improves their durability as well as giving the banknotes a distinctive feel. In the first and Europa series, the Azores, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique, Réunion, the Canary Islands, overseas territories of the eurozone member states, which use the euro, are shown under the map in separate boxes.
Cyprus and Malta were not shown on the first series because they were not in the EU in 2002, when the banknotes were issued though they joined the Eurozone in 2008. The map did not stretch as far east as Cyprus, while Malta was too small to be depicted.2. However, both Cyprus and Malta are depicted on the Europa series note; the Europa series banknotes to the first series, bear the European flag, a map of the continent on the reverse and the signature of Mario Draghi, since 1 November 2011 president of the ECB. The 12 stars from the flag are incorporated into the notes. On 4 May 2016 the European Central Bank decided not to issue a 500 euro banknote for the Europa series; the banknote has the name "euro", but in three scripts: Lat
Banknotes of Northern Ireland
Banknotes have been issued for use in Northern Ireland since 1929, are denominated in pounds sterling. They are legal currency, but technically not legal tender anywhere. However, the banknotes are still accepted as currency by larger merchants and institutions elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Issuing banks have been granted legal rights to issue currency, back the notes with deposits at the Bank of England; the issuing of banknotes in Northern Ireland is regulated by the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971, Banknotes Act 1864, Banknotes Act 1920, Bankers Act 1845, Bankers Act 1928, among others. Pursuant to some of these statutes, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs publishes in the Belfast Gazette an account of "the Amount of Notes authorised by Law to be issued by the several Banks of Issue in Northern Ireland, the Average Amount of Notes in Circulation, of Bank of England Notes and Coin held". On the 27th of February 2019, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland released new polymer £5 and £10 notes, while Danske Bank released new polymer £10 notes.
Notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pounds. Of these denominations, only the 1 pound has ceased to be issued by all banks, with the last produced by the Allied Irish Banks in 1984; the 5 pound note is only issued now by Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, Northern Bank stopped issuing notes over £20 when it was rebranded as Danske Bank. Until April 2008, all Bank of Ireland notes featured Queen's University of Belfast on the reverse side. A new series of £5, £10 and £20 notes was issued in May 2008, all featuring an illustration of the Old Bushmills Distillery, these notes will replace the previous series; the various denominations are differentiated by their colour and size: 5 pound note, blue 10 pound note, pink 20 pound note, green 50 pound note, blue-green. First Trust Bank is a subsidiary of the Allied Irish Banks. AIB was formed in 1966 from a merger of a group of smaller banks. Following this merger, banknotes issued by the Provincial Bank of Ireland were reissued with the Allied Irish Banks name.
In 1991, AIB merged with TSB Northern Ireland and began trading as the First Trust Bank, since the bank's notes have been issued under the First Trust Bank name. First Trust Bank's current notes have a generic depiction of a Northern Irish person. A young middle-aged man appears on the £10 note, an elderly woman on the £20 note, an elderly man on the £50 note, both elderly people together on the £100 note; the obverse designs feature images associated with the Spanish Armada, commemorating the wrecking of 24 Armada ships off the coast of County Antrim in 1588: 10 pound note featuring the ship Girona 20 pound note featuring the chimney at Lacada Point, Giant's Causeway, near Dunluce, County Antrim, where the Girona was wrecked 50 pound note featuring a commemorative medal 100 pound note featuring the Spanish ArmadaA £5 note featuring Dunluce Castle on the obverse and a £1 note featuring the Girona were issued by the Provincial Bank of Ireland and by AIB, but have not been issued by First Trust Bank.
In February 2019, First Trust Bank will cease issuing its own banknotes in circulation and will replace them with Bank of England banknotes as they are withdrawn from circulation. All First Trust Bank notes can continue to be used until 30 June 2022, after which time they will cease to be legal currency. Following the £26.5 million pound robbery in 2004 at Northern Bank's money handling centre in Belfast, Northern Bank announced, on 7 January 2005, that all its notes were to be recalled and reissued in different colours and styles, using the bank's new logo. The reissue was scheduled to take one month. In 2012, Northern Bank adopted the name of its Copenhagen-based parent company Danske Bank Group and now trades as Danske Bank. Northern Bank had been a subsidiary of the Midland Bank and subsequently National Australia Bank, its banknote design has changed over the years as the company changed hands. In June 2013, the bank issued a new series of £10 and £20 notes bearing the new Danske Bank name in place of Northern Bank.
Older notes bearing the Northern Bank name will continue in circulation for some time as they are withdrawn, remain acceptable forms of payment. Most Danske Bank banknotes depict a range of notable people associated with industry in Northern Ireland on the obverse; the reverse of each note has an illustration of the portico of Belfast City Hall, sculpted by F. W. Pomeroy; the principal colours of Northern Bank notes of greater than £5 face value were changed with the 2005 reissue, are now: While Danske Bank does not issue £5 notes, a special commemorative £5 note was issued by the Northern Bank to mark the Year 2000. Uniquely among sterling notes, this was a polymer banknote, printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on Australia synthetic polymer substrate instead of paper, making Northern Ireland the first part of the UK to have issued a plastic banknote, it is the only one of the bank's pre-2004 notes still in circulation. Ulster Bank's current notes all share a rather plain design of a view of Belfast harbour flanked by landscape views