The Irish currency will become the euro in a landmark agreement between Ireland and the European Union (EU) which will see the pound replaced by a common currency.
The agreement will see Ireland’s currency become the first to be exchanged for the euro as part the process of the EU’s divorce from the UK.
The agreement, expected to be signed on Monday, will see Irish government bonds and Irish government-owned banks become the only financial institutions allowed to exchange the Irish pound for the equivalent of the euro.
In a statement, the Taoiseach Eamon Gilmore said that Ireland will be a “strong partner in the European project” but “a country of choice for multinationals who want to set up operations in Ireland and bring jobs and investment to the country”.
He said the “world’s third-largest economy will be an important player in Europe”.
“We have been a valued member of the European community and we will continue to play our part in supporting the European single market and its members and strengthening the economic and political integration of the 28-nation bloc,” Mr Gilmore said.
“The UK has left the European Community, and this agreement will enable Ireland to continue to be an attractive place to do business.”
The agreement is the culmination of months of negotiations between the two sides, which began in January.
It will see financial institutions, like banks, begin to accept the euro and will enable Irish banks to offer customers the convenience of a single bank account and to accept credit cards and other payment methods.
Mr Gilmore said the agreement will help to “foster and expand” Ireland’s economic growth and provide stability to the Irish economy.
Irish officials said that the deal was aimed at ensuring that the euro can be used as the currency of choice to finance investment, trade and jobs.
“It is also to create certainty in the Irish financial markets,” said Dr John Brennan, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He added that the agreement would allow Irish banks and financial institutions to offer their customers a single account in the euro zone.
There will also be changes to how Ireland deals with its foreign debts, the most significant of which is the €1.3 billion in loans to Cyprus that were frozen last year.
That €1bn was frozen in January when Cypriot authorities closed their borders and forced banks in the island to close and repatriate the money, sparking an international outcry.
Ireland is the only country to have refused to take part in the bailout and instead repatriated the money to the island, which it said was owed to the European Central Bank.