WB Yeats: The poet who made our money
Published 02/05/2015 | 02:30
WB Yeats played the leading role in the creation of the first coins for the Free State government in 1926.
He chaired a committee that chose the designs, with a harp on one side and animals for the different denominations on the other.
These included a woodcock for a farthing, a hen for the penny, a pig for a ha'penny, a bull for a shilling, and a salmon for two shillings.
Yeats wanted simple symbols, and some of the chosen designs by Englishman Percy Metcalfe survived decimalisation in 1971 and lasted until the introduction of the Euro.
The coins stood the test of time, despite criticisms from a chief livestock inspector from the Ministry of Agriculture, who said the bull was "all wrong".