Origins of the Irish Presidential Seal Design

Presidential Seal Ireland

This week in Ireland we will be voting in our 9th president. Rather than discuss the presidential candidates I decided to look at the Irish Presidential Seal and see where the design originated. The seal is used by the president to be attached to all warrants, orders and commissions that they witness.

This official seal is made up of a harp surrounded by Celtic knotwork with the word Éire engraved below in a Irish script. Éire (pronounced air-ah) is the Irish word for Ireland. The harp image was taken from a Percy Metcalfe design which was commissioned by the Irish Free State for use in the new coins. W.B Yeats actually chaired the committee which advised on the design of Ireland's new coinage. The coins were first circulated in December 1928. The harp was a representation of the Trinity College harp which was thought to have belonged to Brian Ború the High King of Ireland. There are many theories but unfortunately no evidence to indicate the harp's original owner. This harp is still on display in Trinity college today.

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