The Central Bank is importing 250 million new coins from Finland because of a shortage in the Republic of Ireland, it emerged today.
The Mint of Finland is to supply 100 million one cent coins as well as 80 million two cent coins and 70 million five cent coins.
The Central Bank said there was a significant increase in the demand for such coinage in 2007.
The Bank could not say if this was possibly due to consumers hoarding them in jars in their homes rather than carrying them around in their pockets or purses.
“This level of demand exceeded the Irish Mint’s production capacity and therefore the Central Bank tendered for the procurement of 250 million low denomination euro coins,” a spokesman said.
Since the introduction of the euro in 2002 the Central Bank has sourced a small number of euro coins from abroad to supplement the domestic production.
“Of the almost four billion coins issued since January 1, 2008, less than eight per cent of it was produced abroad,” the spokesman added.
The coinage contract is worth €2.5m to Mint of Finland.
There was only one other firm bid for the tender, according to the Government’s e-tenders website.