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Abstract This article constructs new monetary aggregates for Ireland between 1840 and 1921. Three major findings are gleaned from the data. First, we find that the degree of monetization on the eve of the Famine was comparatively high. Second, we find an unprecedented monetary contraction during the Famine. Third, in contrast to previous research, we find that the failure of the Munster Bank in 1885 had ramifications for confidence in, and the stability of, the banking system.