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What are Callcards?

Callcards was the brand name chosen by Telecom eireann (now Eir) for their implementation of a national phonecard project. Telecom eireann started off by using phonecards based on magnetic and optical technologies before eventually settling with chipped based phonecards. These phonecards could be used in specially adapted payphones to make local and international phonecalls.

When were Callcards first released in Ireland?

Telecom eireann commenced three different Callcard trials in three chosen cities across Ireland: Dublin, Galway and Limerick. The very first trials commenced in Dublin and Limerick in the year 1988, followed by Galway in 1989. For more information, click here.

Why this site?

I am one of the few Callcard collectors out there and I feel that it is important to ensure this key piece of Irish History is preserved online. This site I hope will provide helpful information for people looking to sell a collection, or just provide for those who want to browse a piece of Irish Nostalgia!

What is your favourite Callcard?

My favourite Callcards would be both the Cottage and Rock of Cashel ones. Although there are many more cards which I appreciate the design.

How many Callcards were produced over the years in Ireland

Including the trial, public, private and specially released callcards (excluding any card variations) there were 325 Callcards released by both Telecom eireann, then Eircom (now Eir).

Do Callcards still work?

Yes, Callcards still work in Eircom branded cardphones which accept phonecards.

Do shops still sell Callcards?

I have heard anecdotal evidence over the years that some shops in largely tourist areas including the G.P.O in Dublin still sell Callcards or did up until very recently. Callcards are useful for tourists wishing to avoid roaming phone tariffs, so still have a limited target audience.

When was the last Callcard produced?

While no exact data exists, it is believed Eircom still produced Callcards up until the year 2006.

What is the Rarest Callcard produced?

Two Callcards were produced in 1989 for the Irish Management Institute (I.M.I) conference both a 50 and 20 unit variant. With just 250 (20 unit) and 750 (50 unit) cards produced, to this day these are still very rare. Interestingly it is the 50 unit card which holds most value, as all of these cards were issued at the conference. Many were binned by delegates at the conference so unfortunately a large quantity was destroyed. The 20 unit cards were more common as a quantity were sold to the general public after the conference. Read more.

What are the most common Callcards produced?

Telecom eireann, then Eircom produced several definitive series of Callcards over the years. By their nature definitive Callcards were produced over multiple yearly print runs so as a result are extremely common some with millions issued. Two of the most common Callcards were the Irish Horse Racing and Niamh from Tir Na Nog Callcards with 4.1 and 2.9 million cards produced respectively.

I collected Callcards back in the day, are they still valuable?

Will you get face value for mint unused Callcards from back in the day? It is extremely unlikely. There are some exceptions however. Callcards value currently is dictated by the demand vs the current supply of cards. Over the years many have sold off their collections, while few people retained the interest in Callcard collecting. This has resulted in a significant drop in Callcard values even for what would have been a rare card back in the day. Read more about Callcard values here on our Blog.

I need help with Callcard values, can you help me?

I keep an eye on various auction platforms so have a general idea about what is selling and what isn't. I do help people free of charge to advise if you have any Callcards that would be of value these days. Please first check out the Callcard Value Blog here and you can also email me via the Contact Me page.

Do you buy Callcards?

It depends. I have a mostly completed collection but am missing some of the early engineer test cards. You can Contact Me with photos of your collection and I will let you know if I would be interested in any of the Callcards.

Do you sell Callcards? Can you sell my collection for a fee?

I am not a Callcard Dealer and this website is simply a personal project that I launched to preserve a key piece of Irish History. I do not have the time due to other commitments to deal in Callcards or to buy/sell collections on behalf of others.

There is a card I like on your website. Can I buy one?

Generally I do not have that many swaps particularly for the rarer Callcards. If you are looking for a particular card, please Contact Me and if I can help I will.

I want to start Collecting Callcards again or finish off my collection

That is great to hear! Please see our dedicated section to getting back into Callcard collecting here. These guides will cover where to source Callcards, proper storage of your Callcards and also key things to look out for.

I found your website very interesting, is it possible to support it?

I am delighted to receive any feedback, good or bad about my site. I am constantly trying to improve it and update content when necessary. If you would like to support me please see the Help Out pages for the different ways you can help.

 


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