Fifty days before the euro currency goes into circulation, the Central Bank of Ireland shows off the new banknotes.

The Central Bank of Ireland has successfully delivered 1000 million euro coins to banks and retailers around Ireland. Distribution of new euro banknotes began on 2 November 2001.

Spokesperson for the Central Bank of Ireland Hugh O Donnell explains they need people to familiarise themselves with the new currency before the 1 January 2002.

We want everyone to know what a real euro note looks like.

To help with this goal, every household will be sent 'Getting Ready for the Euro', a guide to the euro coins and banknotes.

The press are also invited to see the new notes. RTÉ reporter George Lee holds the equivalent of £1,400 of euro. The new notes are made of cotton fibre and he observes they look and feel better and have more security features than any other notes in circulation.

Unfortunately the Central Bank officials sitting over there want me to give them back in mint condition in about 30 seconds time.

Like everyone else, George Lee will have to wait another 50 days to get the full experience of the euro notes.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 November 2001. The reporter is George Lee.