BANKRUPT Ireland owns six tonnes of gold, the bulk of which is held at the Bank of England, it has been revealed.
The Central Bank of Ireland said the value of its gold holdings was €235m last time it checked. This represents just over 1 per cent of its total investments.
A spokeswoman said the Central Bank was a party to the Washington Agreement on Gold, which recognised gold as an important element of global monetary reserves.
She said the Central Bank had not entered into any lease arrangements regarding any of its gold but would not provide specific details of its storage arrangements with the Bank of England.
Goldcore founder Mark O'Byrne said the Irish people had a right to know where Ireland's gold reserves were stored, how they were stored and whether they were loaned or leased out into the market.
He said the perception in Ireland that gold was in a bubble was absolute nonsense. Most people in Ireland don't even know what the price of gold is, he said.
The real debate we should be having is the risk posed by currency devaluation, said Mr O'Byrne, not just in Ireland with the euro but with sterling, the dollar and every other paper currency in the world.
He said a slew of people who had warned about the Irish property market were completely ignored and those warning about currency devaluation now were being ignored again.