header Notes Collection

1 Pound 1979, Ireland

in Banknotes Book Number: E137
Years of issue: 19.11.1979
Signatures: Governor: Mr. C. H. Murray, Secretary of the Department of Finance: Mr. T. F. O'Cofaigh
Serie: Series "B" Banknotes (1976- 82 & 1989-93)
Specimen of: 10.06.1977
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 150 х 78
Printer: Waterlow and Sons Limited, London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Pound 1979




Lady Hazel Lavery (second wife of the famous painter Sir John Lavery).

She is a personification of Ireland on Irish banknotes Serie A.


1 Pound 1979

The Queen Medb (Medbh or Maebh, sometimes Anglicised Maeve, Maev or Maive) - is queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. Her husband in the core stories of the cycle is Ailill mac Máta, although she had several husbands before him who were also kings of Connacht. She rules from Cruachan (now Rathcroghan, County Roscommon). She is the enemy (and former wife) of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and is best known for starting the Táin Bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley") to steal Ulster's prize stud bull.

Also, on background, the pre - Christian geometric design based on drawings found, as an excerpt from Ulster Cycle.

The Ulster Cycle (Irish: an Rúraíocht), formerly known as the Red Branch Cycle, one of the four great cycles of Irish mythology, is a body of medieval Irish heroic legends and sagas of the traditional heroes of the Ulaid in what is now eastern Ulster and northern Leinster, particularly counties Armagh, Down and Louth, and taking place around or before the I century AD.

In the background of the main image are fragments of the chapters "Raid on Qualnge" and "Death of Etarkomol" of the saga "The Abduction of the Bull from Qualnge", which is included in the oldest manuscript in Irish: The Book of the Brown Cow (1106).

Left column:

Taít ass do Chúil Airthir ecmaicdochúaid Cu Chulaind in

n-aidchi sin do acallaim Ulad. Scéla lat or Concobar..r. Cu Culaind dixit

Mna brataitir ol Cu Chulaind éti agatir fir gonaitir. ciche

brata cíche áig ciche goin. Bertius buchae fuile fuirtbe

gainne .i.cend fuirtbi áir berthius Ailill mac Matae &

Fergus mac Róichrodána roda clecht claideb conda

coscar eochridi Conchobaircáich & codescarfa.

Ní mór torbai dait or Conchobar indíu tonánic ar tinorcain

in chétnae. Téit ass iar sudiu úadib co n-accai na

sluagu oscuchud ass .i. oc techt.r. Ailill dixit

Aill amai or Ailill. Atchiu carpat condathrind táuthat slúagu

is bodbdae ardibi firu i n-áthu argéba bú curetha bith a

tríchaitimbera iar tudecht slúag dí búanaib .i. di

Laignib. sreithfid fuila mméderad dofóetsat oc

imorráin ar búaib Uladissin n-áth.Gonaid Cú Chulaind .xxx.

láech díb for Áth Duírn.Ni roachtatár iarom conid

adaigrancatár Cúil nAirthir.Gonaid tricha dib

sudiu &focherdat a pupli and. Buí araAilella .i.

Cuillius oc nigi na fondad issind áth mattainBentiseom

co cloich conid ro marb. Is de attá Áth Cuillne

hi Cúil Airthir. Rosagat trá co feótár i nDrúim

Féine laConailliu amal atrubrumar remoind.

Come on to Cúil Airthir.’ It happened that Cú Chulainn went that night to speak with the men of Ulster.

‘What tidings have you?’ asked Conchobar. ‘Women are taken captive,’ said he, ‘cattle are driven away, men are slain.’


{translation of lines 1215-1251} ‘Who takes them captive? Who drives them away? Who kills them?’ ‘... The man foremost in slaughter and killing, Ailill mac Máta, carries them off and Fergus mac Róich, the brave one, who wields a sword ...’ ‘That is not of much benefit to you,’ said Conchobar. ‘Today we have been smitten (by the cess) as before.’

Thereafter Cú Chulainn left them. He saw the army going forth.

Ailill spoke: ‘Alas! I see a chariot with bright points ... he will slay men in fords and capture cows, and the thirty will act when the army has come from Laigin. Blood will flow from headless necks. They will fall fighting for the cattle of the Ulstermen in the ford.’ Cú Chulainn killed thirty of their warriors at Áth Durn. They made no stop then until at nightfall they reached Cúil Airthir. He killed thirty of them at that spot and they pitched their tents there.

Ailill's charioteer, Cuillius, was at the ford early in the morning washing the wheels of the chariot. Cú Chulainn hit him with a stone and killed him. Hence the place-name Áth Cuillne in Cúil Airthir.

They travelled on then and spent the night in Druim Féine in Conaille, as we have related above.

Middle Column:

imbiocescaidaléine. Atbeir danoMac Roth fri Coin Chulaind

cia diarbo chocéle. Céle Concobairmeic Nessa or Cu Chulaind.

Indad fil slondud bas derbu. Is lórsin or Cu Chulaind.

Anáu cia airm sund hi tá Cu Chulaind olMac Roth. Cid ros

berthá fris or Cú. Adfét dó in n-imarchorn-ule amal as-

rubartmár. Cía no beth Cú i n-occus ní dingnedinsein.

Ní rriri bráthair a máthar ar rig n-aile.Doéth chu-

cai afridisi & asbreth friss dó a mbad soírem namban

& a mbad seisc dind folud arna imbreth in tabaill

forroib i n-aidchi cía nos gonad fri dé. Ni dingén or

Cúdia ructharar mna dóera úan biait ar mná

sáera for bróntib. & beimni cenblicht má ructhar ar

mbai blichta úain. Doéth cucai afridissi& asbe-

rarfriss ra mbíat na mná dóera & na bai blichta.

Nidingén or Cu Chulaind dobérat Ulaid a mná dóera chucu

i llige& bertair dóermaicni dóib iarom & imbérat

amblichtach dofeólaib hi ngaimred. In filna aill

diol in techtaire. Fil olCú Chulaind& ni epér fritsu.Dothiasar

fairma atchosse nechdúib. Rafetarsaor Fergus

damsa ararocles in fer a foilsigud& im ni less doibsi.

&iss ed inso in choma or Fergus .i. áthforsi ngénathar

"Cú Chulainn was sitting stark-naked in the snow which reached up to his thighs, examining his shirt for lice. So Mac Roth asked Cú Chulainn whose vassal he was. ‘Vassal of Conchobor mac Nessa,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘Have you no more definite description?’ ‘That is sufficient,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘Where is Cú Chulainn then?’ asked Mac Roth. ‘What would you say to him?’ said Cú Chulainn. So Mac Roth told him the whole message as we have (already) related. ‘Even if Cú Chulainn were here near at hand, he would not agree to that. He will not exchange his mother's brother for another king.’

Once again Cú Chulainn was visited (by Mac Roth) and he was told that he would be given the noblest of the (captured) women and the dry kine on condition that he should not ply his sling on them by night even if he killed them by day. ‘I will not agree,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘If our base-born women are carried off, then our noble women will work at querns, and if our milch cows are taken away we shall be left without milk.’ A third time Cú Chulainn was visited by Mac Roth and he was told that he would get the base-born women and the milch cows. ‘I will not agree,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘The Ulstermen will take their base born women to bed and base offspring will be born to them, and they will use their milch cows for meat in the winter.’ ‘Is there anything else then?’ asked the messenger. ‘There is,’ said Cú Chulainn, ‘but I shall not tell you. It will be agreed to if some one (else) tell you.’ ‘I know what it is,’ said Fergus. ‘The man has arranged that I should make it known. But indeed it is of no advantage to you"

Right column:

[hé]seom&Medb. & dorétlaistir a claidiubar Fergus &

dorat díaaraid dia toscaid & doratadclaideb

craindina intech.Tic Fergus fó sodain. Fo chen sin a phopa

Fergus ol Cú.Dia tí íasc i n-inbera rot bía héco lleith

araile. Dia tí iall ammag rot bía caúthco lleith

alaili. Dornd birair l femair.Dornd fochlochta.

deog de ganim.Techt i n-áth ar cend firmá thecra

t'imaire co comthala rat bia. Is tarise lim ol

Fergusní do bíaddorochtamar rofetamardo threbad

sund. ArfoímCu Chulaindiarom in n-imarchoro Fergus.

TéitFergusassiarom.Anaid Etarcomoloc déscin

Con Culaind.Cid dofécai olCú. tussuol Etarcomol.

Móstairchella émsúiltar sodainol Cú Culaind. Is edón

atchíuol Etarcomol. Nífetarníardott áigthe do neoch.

"‘that Ailill came unawares upon Fergus and Medb as they slept, and he took away Fergus's sword and gave it into the keeping of his charioteer, and a wooden sword was put into its scabbard.’ At that point Fergus arrived.

‘Welcome, master Fergus,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘If fish swim into the estuaries you shall have a salmon and a half; or else if a flock of birds fly over the plain you shall have a barnacle goose and the half of another; or you shall have a handful of cress or seaweed, a handful of laver, a drink from the sand. I shall to go the ford to encounter an opponent if he challenge (you) and you shall be guarded until you shall have slept.’ ‘I trust your welcome,’ said Fergus, ‘but it is not for food that I have come. I know what provisions you have here.’ Then Cú Chulainn received the message from Fergus, and Fergus departed.

Etarcomol remained behind gazing at Cú Chulainn. ‘What are you looking at?’ said Cú Chulainn.


{translation of lines 1323-1360} ‘You,’ said Etarcomol. ‘An eye can soon glance over that,’ said Cú Chulainn. ‘So I see,’ answered Etarcomol. ‘I see no reason why anyone should fear you."

Denomination is in lower left corner.


1 Pound 1979

An excerpt from "Lebor na hUidre", the oldest Irish manuscript "Tain Bo Cualinge", which tells the story of Queen of Connacht, with red fragments in addition to the dominant green color.

Táin Bó Cúailnge ("the driving-off of cows of Cooley", commonly known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley or The Táin) is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by the Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge, opposed only by the teenage Ulster hero Cú Chulainn.

Traditionally set in the I century AD in an essentially pre-Christian heroic age, the Táin is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in three written versions or "recensions" in manuscripts of the XII and later centuries, the first a compilation largely written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish, and the third an Early Modern Irish version.

Lebor na hUidre

"Lebor na hUidre" or "The Book of the Dun Cow" is an Irish vellum manuscript dating to the XII century. It is the oldest extant manuscript in Irish. It is held in the Royal Irish Academy and is badly damaged: only 67 leaves remain and many of the texts are incomplete. It is named after an anachronistic legend that it was made from the hide of a dun cow by Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise.

The manuscript is thought to be the work of three scribes, whose handwriting was distinguished by R. I. Best in 1912 and identified with the letters A, M and H. A and M are believed to be contemporary. A began the manuscript and wrote the opening pages of several of the texts, which were continued by M, who Best identified as Máel Muire mac Céilechair meic Cuinn na mBocht, based on matching the handwriting with two marginal probationes pennae or pen tests, in which the scribe wrote his name. A much later note elsewhere in the manuscript names Máel Muire as the person who "wrote and compiled this book from divers[e] books". His murder at Clonmacnoise is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters in 1106, giving us a latest possible date and location for the main body of the manuscript. Some time later, H (named for his addition of two homilies) added a number of new texts and passages, sometimes over erased portions of the original, sometimes on new leaves. Based on orthography and an English loanword, Gearóid Mac Eoin concludes that H wrote in the late XII or early XIII century.

After the monastery of Clonmacnoise was broken up, the manuscript came into the possession of the O'Donnell clan of Donegal who held it until 1359, when it and the lost Leabhar Gearr were used to ransom members of the clan who had been taken prisoner by Cathal Óg O'Connor. Áed Ruad O'Donnell recovered the manuscript in 1470, and it remained in Donegal at least until 1631, when the compilation of the Annals of the Four Masters was completed. Its location is unknown until 1837, when it was part of a collection owned by Messrs. Hodges & Smith of College Green, Dublin, and was cited by George Petrie in an essay on the History and Antiquities of Tara Hill. The Hodges & Smith collection, 227 manuscripts in all, was purchased by the Royal Irish Academy in 1844.

Joseph O'Longan's lithographic facsimile of the manuscript was published by the RIA in 1870. A diplomatic edition by R. I. Best and Osborn Bergin, with the three hands distinguished by different typefaces, was published in 1929.

Lebor na hUidre

As an illustration, a fragment of the 77th page of the oldest manuscript in Irish is shown: "The Book of the Dun Cow" (1106), where the chapter "The War Chariot and the Great Defeat in Mag-Murthemn" of the saga "The Abduction of the Bull from Kualnge" begins, the title of the chapter is located on the left and outlined in red; in the lower left corner, under the "tail" of the capital R-letters la, not included in the manuscript, perhaps, as an option, these are the initials of the artist who designed the banknote.

Text: "Indeed we deem it a crime that our people should be slain!’ Whence the place-names Glais Chró and Cuillenn Cind Dúin and Áth Chéit Chúle.

The Scythed Chariot and Breslech Mór Maige Muirthemne

Then the four provinces of Ireland pitched their camp at the place called Breslech Mór in Mag Muirthemne. They sent their share of the cattle and booty on ahead southwards to Clithar Bó Ulad."

Denomination is in lower right corner.


Withdrawn from circulation in June 1990.

Designers team

Series B designers team:

Artist - Patrick Hickey.

Michael Biggs - calligrapher.

Sean Mulcahy - consulting engineer.

Richard Hurley - architect.

Brian Hogan - architect, lecturer, writer.