On 1 January 2002 the European Single Currency, the euro was introduced.

Ireland woke up to a new currency today.

After years of planning, public relations campaigns, and a massive banking operation, the euro arrived in Ireland leaving just six weeks to phase out the punt.

Ireland was united with the euro zone nations through the introduction of this common currency. 

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern spoke to reporter Fergal Keane about the new currency. He commends the transition to the euro as a remarkable achievement for Ireland and Europe.

The whole idea of it is to bring a stability, to see the completion of economic monetary union, to see lower interest rates for us and to work in its own way to bring peace and harmony and a better quality of life to the ordinary people.

The Taoiseach also refutes any claims that the euro is a loss of our Irishness. 

A 'Five Seven Live' report by Ryan Tubridy broadcast on 1 January 2002.