Ireland’s Central Bank has launched two new collectors coins to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Michael Collins' death and demand has been extraordinary.

Gerry Quinn, Chief Operations Officer at the Central Bank said its collector coins continue to be very popular with the public and interest in this particular coin has been “overwhelming”.

Collins died on 22nd August 1922, at Béal na mBláth, in County Cork. One of the country's most influential political leaders and patriots, he was shot dead while traveling between Bandon and Macroom as the Irish civil war was raging.

The €20 gold proof coin and a €10 silver proof coin created in his honor were designed by artist Thomas Ryan. They feature a portrait of a young Michael Collins on one side with the harp on the other.

Ryan was also responsible for the old deer IR£1 coin, which was introduced in 1990 to replace the pound note.

Speaking at the launch of the coins, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the commemorations planned over the next decade “offer an opportunity for us to recognise the great sacrifices that so many people made in the creation of this state.

“Those of us today who sometimes feel that the task facing us may be insurmountable should remember the challenges faced by those who founded the institutions of this state,” he added.

The Minister said, “The issuance of these coins should be seen as part of the forthcoming decade of commemorations of critical events in our history. I was particularly conscious of this decade of events on 6th December last when making my first Budget speech in Dáil Eireann, which coincided with the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty."

The coins have an issue limit of 12,000 units for the €20 coin and 8,000 units for the €10 coin. In addition, 6,000 sets featuring both coins are available from today.

Coins can be purchased by downloading an order form on the Central Bank website, by calling 1890 307 607 or directly from the Central Bank of Ireland on Dame Street at a cost of €50 for the gold proof, €48 for the silver proof and €95 for sets featuring both.