Ireland back in recession as slowdown hits exports

Tim Wallace
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THE IRISH economy slumped back into recession at the end of last year, in part because of weak demand from the rest of the Eurozone, official figures showed yesterday.

GDP fell 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, following a 1.1 per cent fall in the third quarter and taking the economy back into recession.

Over the year as a whole the economy grew 0.7 per cent, below government forecasts of one per cent and below the hopes of international lenders who bailed out the country.

Meanwhile, an inquiry concluded yesterday that former taoiseach Bertie Ahern had lied about payments into a bank account connected to him when he was finance minister.

Ahern was forced to resign as PM in 2008 after giving evidence to a tribunal which revealed a series of unusual transactions. However, the tribunal could not identify the source of all of the funds in question.