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Ireland launches purge of one and two cent coins

A scheme to reduce the number of one and two cent coins in circulation in Ireland launches today, with customers having bills rounded to the nearest five cents instead.

If the customer consents, bills ending in one, two, six, or seven cents would be rounded down to the nearest five, while those ending in three, four, eight or nine cents would be rounded up.

Ireland wants to reduce the number of one and two cent coins Credit: PA

The policy has already been tried in Wexford in the Republic of Ireland, and from today will be rolled out across the country in a bid to reduce the number of low-denomination coins, which experts say are often simply "stockpiled" in people's homes.

Dr Ronnie O'Toole, an economist at Ireland's Central Bank, said he believed it would prove successful.

"Consumers may be surprised at first but, judging from the experience in Wexford, they will embrace rounding very quickly," he said.

Since joining the euro in 2001, Ireland has spent some €37 million (£27m) minting the copper coins.

Similar schemes have already been introduced in other eurozone states including the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Hungary.


Irish Justice Minister 'appalled' by loss of Garda's life

Ireland's Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Credit: PA

The Justice Minister for Ireland has said she is "appalled" over the loss of a Garda's life.

Frances Fitzgerald said: "His death will be mourned by the entire nation.

"While no words at this time can be expected to console his wife and children, his family, his colleagues and all who loved him, they know that he gave his life in the best traditions of An Garda Siochana protecting the community he was so proud to serve."

Garda commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan added her "thoughts and prayers" were with the entire Garda service.

"This incident highlights the unique nature of the job carried out by the men and women of An Garda Siochana, and the dangers they face every day."

Irish President leads tributes to Garda killed in shooting

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins. Credit: Reuters

The President of Ireland has led tributes to the Garda killed in a shooting during a domestic dispute in County Louth.

Michael D Higgins said in a statement: "This most serious and tragic incident has not only led to the death of a member of An Garda Siochana, while on duty, but tragically has also involved the death of one and the serious injury of another person.

"I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the Garda who has so tragically lost his life while responding to this incident.

"My thoughts at this time are also with all others who have been affected by these events."

Shot Garda was married father-of-three in his thirties

Police were called to a domestic dispute in County Louth when the officer was shot. Credit: PA

A police officer shot dead in Ireland was a married father-of-three in his 30s.

The Garda, who has yet to be named, was killed after attending a call-out at a house in Omeath, County Louth at around 6pm.

The gunman, believed to be a man in his 20s, opened fire shooting the officer and a woman, who is seriously injured.

He is then believed to have taken his own life by turning the gun on himself.

Police said the gunman was on bail awaiting trial for dissident republican terrorism at the time.

The dead officer is the 88th member of the force to be killed in the line of duty.

The murder occurred in the same region of Co Louth where Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot on January 25, 2013.

Gerry Adams 'shocked' after two shot dead in Ireland

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has expressed his shock at the events in County Louth. Credit: PA

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has expressed his shock at news of the shooting incident which killed two men, one a member of the An Garda Síochána, in County Louth.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with the families of those who have died," Adams said in a statement.

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