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20 Pounds 1987, Ireland

in Banknotes Book Number: E150
Years of issue: 12.08.1987
Edition: --
Signatures: Governor: Mr. M. F. Doyle, Secretary of the Department of Finance: Mr. S. P. Cromien
Serie: Series "B" Banknotes (1976- 82 & 1989-93)
Specimen of: 07.01.1980
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 172 х 90
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.

20 Pounds 1987

Description

Watermark:

watermark

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

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

Avers:

20 Pounds 1987

William Butler YeatsThe engraving on banknote is made after this photo of William Yeats.

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 - 28 January 1939). He was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honored for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation". Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include "The Tower" (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was a very good friend of American expatriate poet and Bollingen Prize laureate Ezra Pound. Yeats wrote the introduction for Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali, which was published by the India Society.

He was born in Dublin and educated there and in London; he spent his childhood holidays in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display Yeats's debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From 1900, Yeats's poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life.

Behind him is a mythological hero Cú Chulainn, an image based on the motif used by Abbey theater.

Cú Chulainn, also spelt Cú Chulaind or Cúchulainn ("Culann's Hound") and sometimes known in English as Cuhullin is an Irish mythological hero, who appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore. The son of the god Lugh and Deichtine (sister of Conchobar mac Nessa), his childhood name was Sétanta.

He gained his better-known name as a child after he killed Culann's fierce guard-dog in self-defence and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared. At the age of seventeen he defended Ulster single-handedly against the armies of queen Medb of Connacht in the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"). It was prophesied that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame, but that his life would be a short one. For this reason he is compared to the Greek hero Achilles. He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy, or ríastrad (translated by Thomas Kinsella as "warp spasm" and by Ciaran Carson as "torque"), in which he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He fights from his chariot, driven by his loyal charioteer Láeg and drawn by his horses, Liath Macha and Dub Sainglend. In more modern times, Cú Chulainn is often referred to as the "Hound of Ulster".

On the background are the texts from the play "Deirdre" (1907) by William Yeats.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners. In words, vertically, on the left side.

Revers:

20 Pounds 1987

The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish - etymology uncertain: it may come from the Norse word "brasker", meaning "a dangerous place") are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry. They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population, and today are part of the Gaeltacht. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts, and some former residents still live on the Dingle Peninsula, within sight of their former home.

The tiny islands off the west coast of Ireland fascinated writers and artists. For some, like W.B. Yeats, they epitomized pride, solitude and a sense of estrangement. For others, such as J.M. Synge, they provided the example of a commune in which life was reduced to its fundamentals - mankind pitted against nature.

The islanders were the subject of much anthropological and linguistic study around the end of the 19th and beginning of the XX centuries particularly from writers and linguists such as Robin Flower, George Derwent Thomson and Kenneth H. Jackson. Thanks to their encouragement and that of others, a number of books were written by islanders that record much of the islands' traditions and way of life. These include An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

On the background are the texts from the poem An t-Oileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain.

Tomás Ó Criomhthain (anglicised as Tomas O'Crohan or Thomas O'Crohan, 1856-1937) was a native of the Irish-speaking Great Blasket Island 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. He wrote two books, Allagar na h-Inise (Island Cross-Talk) written over the period 1918-23 and published in 1928, and An t-Oileánach (The Islandman), completed in 1923 and published in 1929. Both have been translated into English.

The text on background is in Gaelic language:

"Carraig í seo i lár na mara móire agus go lán mhinic tagann an fhairrge cháithteach lastuas di le fóirneart gaoithe ná beadh sé ar do chumas do cheann a chur amach ach oiread le coinín i n Inis Mhicileáin a fhanann i bpoll an fhaid a bhíonn fearthainn agus sáile amuich. Ba mhinic sinn ag dul chun fairrge ar mhochóirighe na maidine agus an uain oiriúnach a dhóthain agus fé dheire an lae do bhíodh na daoine istigh ’ár gcaoine le droch chló a bhíodh tagaithe ar an aimsir. Do bhíodh orainn bheith amuich istoidhche agus níl cur síos ar an annródh a leanann an sórt san seilge. Tugaim díogh ar na gnóthaí eile go léir di. Ba lán mhinic an fhairrge ag gabháil lastuas dinn, gan radharc againn ar thír ná ar thalamh oidhche mhór fhada fhuar mar seo ag comhrac na mara agus go lán-mhinic ar bheagán fagháltais ach ó uair go h-uaire ag tnúth le cabhair Dé. Do thagadh ár ndóthain de’n tseilg orainn go fada fánach insa tslí go mbíodh orainn na líonta a ghearradh agus iad a scaoileadh leis an muir. Oidhcheannta eile tar éis brácadh an mharbhaithe, agus na naomhóga bog lán de, agus ná féadfaí bualadh ar chalath ná ar thír ach tarrac ag dul anáirde go dtí an féar glas, stoirm aniar dtuaidh, na bainnc ag briseadh-chaithimís rith roimis an aimsir, cuid againn go Cuas Cromtha, cuid go Cuan Fionntrágha, cuid go dtí an Daingean.

Fágann na neithe sin nach comórtas sinn le daoine i mbailte móra agus lanntáin míne réidhe. Má bhí lochtaí beaga le cur ’ár leith uaireannta dob’ é an uair do bhíodh aon bhraon dighe eadrainn é. Do ghoilleadh an deoch orainn seachas cách toisc sinn do bheith suaidhte tnáithte do shíor ar an gcuma atá luaidhte agam, ar nós an chapaill, gan aon phioc de’n sánas ná de’n suaineas do shíor.

Bhíodh an saoghal go maith an uair úd. Bhíodh scilling i láimh a chéile againn; biadh flúirseach agus neithe saor. Bhíodh an deoch saor. Ní le dúil sa digh a bhíodh sainnt orainn dul ’n a treo ach chun oidhche shúgach a bhaint amach i n-ionad an annróidh a bhíodh fachta againn go minic roimis sin. Do dheineadh braon a thógaint croidhe a chur ionnainn agus do bhíodh lá agus oidhche anois agus arís againn i bhfochair a chéile gach uair a bhíodh cao’ againn air. Tá san imithe agus tá an mór chroidhe agus an scléip ag dul as an saoghal. Thugaimís ár mbóthar abhaile orainn mar seo go mín macánta tar éis gach raghairne, mar bheadh clann aon mháthar gan díth ná díobhail a dhéanamh d’á chéile.

Do scríobhas go mion chruinn ar a lán dár gcúrsaí d’fhonn go mbeadh cuimhne i mball éigin ortha agus thugas iarracht ar mheon na ndaoine bhí im’ thimcheall a chur síos chun go mbeadh ár dtuairisc ’ár ndiaidh, mar ná beidh ár leithéidí arís ann."

The translation to English have been made by Liam O'Lonargain:

"This is a rock out in the ocean and often the sea rages over it driven by gale force winds so that you could not put your head out no more than would the young rabbit who stays put in his burrow while the rain and sea spray lash outside. It was often we put to sea with the dawn and the weather fair, yet by the end of the day those we left behind would be grieving us because the weather had turned for the worse.

We used to go out at night there is no telling what that kind of fishing was like. I would rate it the worst of all the work I ever undertook. Too often the sea would rise up over us cutting off sight of land - a long hard cold night like that, battling the sea, too often with no returns but praying for time to time for god's help. Occasionally, we got more than we could take in our catch and we would have to cut our nets adrift and lose both catch and nets for which we had to pay dearly.

Other nights - after slaving our guts out and the naomhoga nicely filled we would not be able to make either harbour or land with the swell rising up to the green grass, storming north-westerly and the flood crashing in the troughs - we would have to run before the weather, some of us to Coos Cromha, some to Ventry Harbour and others to Dingle, and face home against the tide and try our luck again till morning..

This means that we cannot be compared with people living in big towns or golden vales. If, occasionally, we were to be accused of slight faults, they arose from the drop of drink among us. Drink adversely affected us more than most because we were always worn out like the horse, with never a rest or respite.

Life was good then, we would have a shilling in our hand, food was plentiful and things were cheap. Drink was chip. It was not so much the longing for it that attracted us to drink so much as the wish for a night’s enjoyment instead of hardship we endured too often. Drinking put heart in us and now and again we would have a night and a day in company when we got the chance. That is all gone now and the great heart and fun is going out of the life. Like one big happy family, would hurt no harm to one another, we would take the road home after our revelry, in peace and friendship.

I have written in detail of much of our affairs so that somewhere there will be a memory of them and I have tried to put down the will of my people so that our record will be there after us, for our likes will never again be."

Denomination in numeral is in lower right corner.

Comments:

Designers team

Series B designers team:

Artist - Patrick Hickey.

Michael Biggs - calligrapher.

Sean Mulcahy - consulting engineer.

Richard Hurley - architect.

Brian Hogan - architect, lecturer, writer.