The release of modern, lighter and smaller Irish coins begins with the five pence piece and gets a mixed reaction from the public.

Minister for Finance Bertie Ahern was at the Central Bank Mint in Sandyford to witness the new five pence pieces coming off the press. 

The nation's currency is undergoing revolutionary change.

Bertie Ahern says the new five pence coin is an essential part of modernising the nation's coinage and says the main objective is to make the coins lighter and smaller. The new coin is 40% lighter than the current five pence piece and three-quarters its size.  

Organisations representing the blind and the Arts Council have been consulted in the design of the new coins. 

An estimated 193 million five pence pieces will be in circulation within days. The current five pence pieces will hold their value until the 1 January 1992. 

Mark Little got the reaction to the new coins from people on the streets of Dublin with one street trader less than enthusiastic about the new design.

Since we went into that EEC, they're doing everything wrong.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 June 1992. The reporter is Mark Little.