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The Irish punt (IR£) is dividded into 100 pence (100p). Currency notes are issued in values of £l00, £50, £20, £10 and £5. Coins are issued to the value of 100p (£1), 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p, 1p. In Northern Ireland the pound sterling is divided in a similar way. Irish currency should only be used in the Republic and sterling currency in Northern Ireland.

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Most banks in Ireland are open from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 12.30 and from 13.30 to 15.00 hours. Of these, some branches are open through lunchtime. In Northern Ireland the opening hours are 10.00 to 15.30 Monday to Friday. In the Republic there is extended opening until 17.00 on one day per week (the choice varying from place to place; it is Thursday in
Dublin). The opening hours of the TSB Bank are slightly different: 10.00--16.00 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.10.00--19.00 Thursday; no lunchtime closing.

In Northem Ireland in some places the banks close for lunch 12.30-13 30. In the Republic and Northern lreland in verv small villages, banking services may be provided only on two or three days per week, so it is advisable for the visitor to make arrangements to get cash in the bigger centres. Cash dispensers have become more widely available in recent years and post
offices can also provide limited cash services.

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Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland are New Year's Day (1 January); St Patrick's Day (17 March) (if St Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a public holiday); Good Friday' (though this is not a statutory public holiday); Easter Monday, first Mondays in June and August, last Monday in Octoober; Christmass Day (25 December); St Stephen's Day (26
December). In Northern Ireland St Patrick's Day and Good Friday are not public holidays but 12 July is.

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Irish postage stamps must be used on letters posted in the Republic. and British postage stamps on letters posted in Northern Ireland. Details of stamps available for sale for philatelic purposes may be obtained from the Controller, Philatelic Section, G.P.O., Dublin 1, or equivalent in Northern Ireland.

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A comprehensive series of maps covering Ireland is produced by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland in Dublin and the Ordnance
Survey of Northern Ireland in Belfast. Holidaymakers will find useful a new series of four 'Holiday maps' covering all Ireland
(scale at 1:250,000 or 1/4 inch to 1 mile) which are jointly published by both Ordnance Surveys. Maps are on sale at Tourist
Information Offices and most booksellers.

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Telephone tones and their significance vary from country to country. These are the tones used throughout the island:

Dial Tone A continuous high pitched tone:

Ringing Tone A repeated double beat tone--burr-burr;

Engaged Tone A high pitched, broken tone beep-beep-beep.


There are public telephones in many outdoor locations all over Ireland as well as in Telecentres, public buildings including rail and bus stations, shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels. Local, trunk and internatiomal calls can be dialled direct from these phones. Telecom Eireann has introduced Cardphones in cities and towns throughout Ireland. Cards can be purchased in Telecentres and in post offices and retail outlets displaying the Callcard sign. Cards can be purchased in 10, 20, 50 and 100 unit denominations. Operating instructions are displayed in each kiosk or on the payphone itself. For locations of Cardphones and Callcard Agents ring Freefone 1800 250 250.A list of all Irish regional codes and International direct dialling codes is contained in the front of each telephone directory.


Dial 999 and ask the operator for the emergency service you require: Fire, Gardai (Police), Ambulance, Boat and Coastal Rescue, Mountain and Cave Rescue. When the emergency service answers, state the address or location at which help is needed.Calls to these services are free of charge.


If you cannot direct dial the number you want or if you do not know the number of the person you wish to call, contact the international operator on 114, or 10 if you are ringing from oldstyle A\B coinboxes.


To know the duration and charge for an international call made through the operator dial 114 and ask the operator when booking the call for 'advice of duration and charge' The operator will call you back with this information when the call is finished. The charge for this service is 30p.


Countries from which credit cards are accepted by the international telephone exchange for calls back to issuing country: Australia, Greece, New Zealand, Bahamas, Hawaii, Norway, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bulgaria, Hungary, South Africa, Canada, Italy, Taiwan, Columbia, Japan, Thailand, Cyprus, Korea, Uganda, Denmark, Republic of USA, Egypt, Kuwait,
Yugoslavia, France, Netherlands.


You may have the charge for an international call transferred to the called number (not a payphone) in most countries if the charge is accepted when the operator offers the call. To use this service, dial 114, or 10 if you are ringing from oldstyle A/B coinboxes.


You may book a call to a designated person. A personal fee is, however, charged in addition to the standard charge. This fee varies with the call destinationdial 114, or 10 if you are ringing from oldstyle A/B coinboxes.


If you have serious difficulties in making an international call please contact the Chief Supervisor (Continental and Overseas) on Freefone 1800 680000.


If you cannot find the number of the person you wish to call, contact the Operator.

Dial 1190 for numbers within Ireland.

Dial 1197 for numbers within Great Britain.

Dial 114 if you require an international number.

Dial 10 for the local operator (when ringing from oldstyle A/B coinboxes ).

Give the person's name and address and any other information that may help to identify the number.


For internal and cross-channel calls which cannot be dialled direct, contact the operator on '10'. Give the operator the number from which you are calling and the number you require. Please dial direct if you can, it saves you time and money.


Public telephones will take either Phonecards, which you can buy in post offices or shops displaying the Phonecard sign, or cash. Booths give instructions on the use of both. Most coinboxes will take £1, 50p, 20p and 10p coins. If you are outside Belfast and wish to telephone the city the dialling prefix is 0232; for central London it is 0171, for outer London 0181 and for
Dublin it is 00 353 1.

Dial 100 to obtain the operator.

Dial 155 for the international operator.

Directory enquiries for the UK-dial 192.

International directory enquiries-dial 153.

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For further information contact "Guide to Ireland" at Visitirl@iol.ie
or Michael O' Donnell - Tel 0504 - 51616, Int+353+504+51616

(© 1995/96 Guide to Ireland/Visitirl All Rights Reserved.)