23rd October

Ogham Bonds replace Euro in pilot project on Donegal island


Ogham Bonds are named from the Celtic alphabet.

Ogham Bonds are named from the Celtic alphabet

Ogham Bonds replace Euro in pilot project on Donegal island Arranmore islanders are backing a pioneering vision that will see a Euro-backed currency, the Ogham Bond being piloted this summer.

Across the globe from Mexico, UK, Hong Kong and Denmark, communities are creating complimentary local coins and notes that are linked to national currencies. Arranmore is the first Irish island to rise to the challenge having launched Ogham Bonds in June.


One Arranmore Ogham Bonds equals one Euro and will be in use until September 28 when the project will be assessed by SysPro;Systems for Progress Limited owned by islander Dr Shirley Gallagher.

“Arranmore Ogham Bonds are a celebration of local values which cherish people and place. The new currency can build bonds and bridges on the island and beyond, to its diaspora,” she explained. The scientist plans to assess local interest and investigate ways to finance projects in the Energy Action Plan which was created under the European Funded Project.

She explains that the idea to keep the money ‘local’ provides businesses and the community with something tangible and fun. “The Bonds make people think about where their money is going and possibly why.

Local currencies, while being fun, work to deepen an awareness of our economic interdependency. “Syspro is providing a platform to create a conversation that links these issues to everyday values. Keeping money local is thought to add real value.

About 10-20% of total spend is said to remain in the local economy.” Philip Boyle of the Glen Hotel was the first businessman to accept the Ogham bonds, followed by John Neilie Boyle of Smugglers Nite club. Jerry of Early’s Bar, Neil Gallagher of Neilie’s Bar are also committed to Ogham Bonds along with Seamus Bonner, CEO of CFFAM. Connections with other island businesses are expected to occur as the summer progresses.

The conversation is expected to ebb and flow, and be captured and documented along the way by SysPro. Background Island currency has been successfully carried out in Fejo, Denmark, an island with a similar population as Arranmore.

Kroner-backed, local currency (red shrimps and blue bananas) guarantee that more Kroner remain within the island’s economy. “Having seen the pride which the Fejo islanders held for their currency I was inspired to create a similar project on my own island. I love the fact that our currency is Oghams, the Ogham alphabet was first created in Ireland over 2000 years ago. Using Oghams links our past to the present and is 100% Irish,” explained Dr Gallagher.

Part of Dr Gallagher’s time will involve recording a weekly radio show with the diaspora internet station Irish radio international where the focus will be on sustainability, nature, economy, wellbeing, and society “with a bit of craic thrown in”. Ogham bonds are available/redeemable at the above businesses and/or by post by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Further details: Facebook [button] Sustainable Islands, Tir na nOg-A Portal Experience irishradiointernational Twitter: [button] shirleyatsyspro W:syspro.ie irishradiointernational.com Ogham bonds are named from the Celtic alphabet. Two bonds are available; The Reed (2 Ogham) and The Willow (10 Ogham).

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