By Central Bank of Ireland ……
- €15 silver proof coin marks 100 years since Irish women won the right to vote
- Coin presented by Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery to the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Vótáil 100 Committee, Senator Ivana Bacik
- Limited to 3,000 pieces it is the first commemorative coin to feature color in over a decade
The Central Bank of Ireland (Banc Ceannais na hÉireann), in conjunction with the Oireachtas Vótáil 100 programme, launched a silver commemorative coin to mark the 100 year anniversary of Irish women winning the right to vote.
1918 was the first time Irish women were permitted by law to vote and stand in parliamentary elections. After the Representation of the People Act gave women the vote, the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 was passed in November 1918 allowing women to be elected to Parliament in Westminster.
In the November 1918 General Election, Countess Markievicz was the first woman elected as an MP to the UK House of Commons, though she never took her seat at Westminster. Instead, she joined the revolutionary first Dáil in 1919, becoming the first female TD and became one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position as Minister for Labour from 1919 to 1922.
Struck in .925 sterling silver to proof quality, the coin was designed by Michael Guilfoyle, and is the first Irish commemorative coin to feature color since the Special Olympics coin of 2003. The design celebrates the progression of equality for women in Ireland over the last century. The figure of a suffragette stands in the foreground holding a banner demanding the vote for Irish women. Behind her in silhouette is a procession of women marching forward to represent the progress in equality from 1918 to the present day. They stride along a road painted in the colors of the suffragette movement in Ireland.
At the launch in Leinster House, Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery said:
“The Central Bank is honoured to launch this coin to commemorate this momentous event in Irish history when Irish women won the right to vote. We are delighted to be able to celebrate and mark such a significant event 100 years on.”
An Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said:
“This coin provides a historically resonant keepsake allowing us to reflect on the political progress of women over the last century. The suffragists and suffragettes of the early 20th century dreamed of a central role for women in the democratic life of Ireland. As the detail and beautiful design of this coin reminds us, these rights were not won easily, nor is this long journey towards equality complete.”
The €15 Silver Proof coin issued to mark 100 years since Irish women won the right to vote is on sale today, 28 November 2018, for €63. It has an issue limit of 3,000 and can be purchased on www.collectorcoins.ie.
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About Central Bank of Ireland
The Central Bank of Ireland (as agent for the Minister for Finance) is the sole body with the statutory authority to issue legal tender in Ireland, in the form of circulating and commemorative coin. Irish collector coin products are issued to celebrate and pay tribute to figures of national importance and to commemorate significant events in Irish history. Typically four to five new products are launched each year.