The Central Bank of Ireland announced a new coin will be issued to honor one of the country’s more ground-breaking and ingenious inventors of the 20th century, while at the same time launching an exciting new annual coin series. The first coin in the series entitled “Irish Science and Inventions” pays tribute to John Philip Holland (1841 – 1914) who was born in Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland. He is widely credited with being the inventor of the modern submarine. Holland’s design was the first to combine an electric motor for submerged travel and an internal combustion engine for use on the surface.
Holland worked as a teacher as a member of the Christian Brothers in various locations in Ireland. In 1873 he left the Christian Brothers and emigrated to the United States. With the backing of the Fenian Brotherhood, Holland built the Fenian Ram submarine.
Holland continued to develop the submarine concepts and on the 11th April 1900, the Holland VI was purchased by the United States government for the sum of $150,000 and subsequently commissioned as the USS Holland (later designated SS1). This was the first modern submarine in the United States Navy and became the prototype for the submarines of the US Fleet, as well as those of Japan, Britain and the Netherlands. The era of the modern submarine had begun.
The coin, designed by Mary Gregoiry, (Mary also designed the more recent James Joyce silver coin of 2013 and the gold Battle of Clontarf commemorative coin for 2014) the coin is produced by the Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the Central Bank of Ireland. The design features a representation of one of Holland’s submarines. A decorative nautilus spiral completes the design with his name appearing below and the coin’s denomination of “15 EURO” placed above the primary design. The reverse of the coin includes the traditional harp design and the year of the coins issue “2014” along with “EIRE” on either side.
The coin will be available from the 2nd September, interested collectors are invited to visit the Central Banks website at: http://www.centralbank.ie/paycurr/collector/Pages/Coinsets.aspx Information offered in English & Gaelic – international orders dispatched.
Michael Alexander of the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre will be at the official launch of this new coin, to be held at the Marine Institute, County Galway on the 1st September and hosted by the Central Bank of Ireland, his report of the day’s event will be included soon after the event!