The sixpence (6d, Irish: reul) coin was a subdivision of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth  1⁄40 of a pound or  1⁄2 of a shilling. The Irish name (reul) is derived from the Spanish real.

The coin was originally struck in nickel, like the threepence coin, and was very well wearing. The metal was changed to cupronickel in 1942 as nickel increased in value.

It was expected that this coin would circulate alongside the new decimal coins, with a value of  2 1⁄2 new pence as in the United Kingdom. With this in mind the Central Bank of Ireland continued to have the coin minted, last dated 1969, while minting decimal coins. However, the coin ended up being withdrawn instead, never to become a decimal-based coin; it remains the last pre-decimal coin to come off the production run.

Engraver: Percy Metcalfe


The Celtic harp is a triangular harp traditional to Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In Ireland and Scotland it was a wire-strung instrument requiring great skill and long practice to play, and was associated with the Gaelic ruling class. In the Republic of Ireland, it appears on the coins and coat of arms.

Éire is Irish for "Ireland", the name of an island and a sovereign state.

éIRe 1947


Irish Wolfhound, facing left.

The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), specifically a very large sighthound from Ireland. The name originates from its purpose — wolf hunting with dogs — rather than from its appearance. Originally developed from war hounds to one used for hunting and guarding, Irish Wolfhounds can be an imposing sight due to their formidable size.

It has been suggested by some that the greyhound depicted is Master McGrath, a famous coursing greyhound raised in County Waterford. Although the frieze of Master McGrath on the Master McGrath monument in Waterford, the only public monument in Ireland to a greyhound, does bear some similarity to Metcalfe's design, there is no evidence to suggest that the animal on the coin is anything other than a generic depiction.



6 Pence

KM# 13a Sp# 6641
Material Cupronickel
Weight 4.53 g
Diameter 21 mm
Thickness 1.9 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal

Related coins

Irish Free State

Nickel, 4.54 g, ⌀ 20.8 mm