25 June-Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland is the oldest bank in continuous operation in Ireland. It has been in operation for over 230 years. The Bank, which provides a wide range of services in Ireland and the United Kingdom, employs over 11,000 people. It has its headquarters in Dublin.

Prior to the establishment of Bank of Ireland there was, what has been described as a ‘free for all’ currency system in Ireland. Anybody could set up a bank and issue coins, both silver and copper, and banknotes without restriction. French Spanish, Portuguese and English coins circulated freely in Ireland.

A banking breakdown occurred in 1734 which led to a coinage being proclaimed for Ireland which had a fixed exchange rate. Parities were fixed for English and all other foreign coins in circulation at the time. However the standard currency did not put an end to the crises. Due to exchange fluctuations and other factors, there was a big crash in 1760 followed by another crisis 1770.

Finally in 1782 Bank of Ireland was established under an act of Grattan’s Parliament. The new bank was given a monopoly on the issue of currency among recognised banks in Ireland. These notes continued to be issued up until the 1920’s. Bank of Ireland continues to issue its own banknotes in Northern Ireland to this day.

The Bank of Ireland opened for business at Mary’s Abbey off Capel Street in Dublin in 1783. Eighteen years after the bank was established the Irish Parliament ceased to exist when the Act of Union came into force. The parliament building at 2 College Green was bought by the Bank of Ireland in 1803. The building which for a time was the headquarters of the bank continues as a working branch of the bank to this day. The chamber of the House of Commons was converted for bank use but the House of Lords chamber was kept intact and can be viewed by the public.

Down through the centuries the bank expanded its branch network throughout the country. In 1965 Bank of Ireland acquired the National Bank which had been founded by Daniel O’Connell in 1835. Today, despite a recent major crisis Bank of Ireland continues to play a central role in the banking industry in Ireland.

Bank of Ireland, the oldest bank in continuous in Ireland, opened for business at Mary’s Abbey off Capel Street in Dublin in the year 1783 On This Day.

Bank of Ireland (House of Commons)

Five pound note, Bank of Ireland

01 October-Carlow College

Carlow College is located in Carlow town, Ireland. Known locally as St Patrick’s College, it is one of Ireland’s oldest third level educational institutions. Set on parkland close to the town centre the college attracts students from all over Ireland studying Humanities and Social Care. The College has partnerships with universities in the United States including Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Carlow College was founded in 1782 by the then Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Dr James O’ Keeffe. It was built on a 4 acre site, which had been leased for 999 years from Mr Walter Fishbourne. Both lay students and those studying for the priesthood were educated there up until 1892. From 1840 to 1879 primary degree awards in Carlow College were accredited by the University of London. During those years students studying at Carlow College were awarded B.A. and LL.B degrees from the London University.

In 1879 when the University Education (Ireland) Act was passed Carlow College came under the Catholic University of Ireland. As a consequence Carlow College became affiliated to the newly established Royal University of Ireland, an examining and degree-awarding university based on the model of the University of London. From 1892 until 1987 the College operated principally as a seminary and it is estimated that over 3,000 priests were ordained in Carlow.

During the 1990’s Carlow College ceased to operate as a seminary. It is now a lay college catering for a student population of over 700. The College offers primary and post graduate degrees in the areas of Humanities and Social Studies.

The first President of Carlow College was Rev. Dr. Henry Staunton. Often referred to as Dean Staunton he was a Native of Paulstown Co Kilkenny. He served as President until 1814. In all there have been twenty Presidents since the foundation of the college. The current President, Fr. Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh from Co Tipperary, was appointed in 2015.

Carlow College accepted its first student for enrolment in the year 1793 On This Day.


Carlow College

Carlow College