Ireland’s Central Bank has said that according to its latest figures there is now a staggering quarter of a billion Euro’s worth of old currency “missing” in various nooks, crannies, and mattresses around the country.

Officially there is now a whopping  $300 million  worth of punts unaccounted for which can be redeemed at the Central Bank in Dublin.

At the end of 2002, when the punt stopped being legal tender, there was just $80 million of the old currency redeemed, with $360 million outstanding; in 2009 just $4 million was cashed in for the pan-European Euro currency, and many more coins remained to be chased in.

The conversion rate between the currencies has been fixed at €1 equating to IR£0.787564.

Anyone wishing to redeem old Irish punts can do so free of charge at the Central Bank in Dublin.

A ‘virtual Euro’ was introduced in Ireland on 1st January 2009, and the currency was actually physically introduced on 1st January 2010. The ‘withdrawal’ of the old currency since then has been described as ‘notably slow’.

The Euro currency is used by 16 of the 27 member states of the European Union. Estonia, the newest country to officially adopt the currency, begins using the currency on the 1st of January 2011.