Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Irish economy moves out of recession

Ireland has technically moved out of recession as the country's GDP grew by 0.3% in the three months to end of September.

Ireland has technically moved out of recession as the country's GDP grew by 0.3% in the three months to end of September.

The Quarterly National Accounts, published by the Central Statistics Office in December 2009, showed a 0.3% increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from July through to September 2009.

This is Ireland's first economic growth since the country fell in recession in the beginning of 2008.

Given that the widely-used definition of a recession is two quarters in a row of falling GDP, that means that the Irish economy has now exited recession.

Analysts welcomed the good news but remained cautious about declaring the end to what has been the worse recession since the Second World War.

Irish Business and Employers Confederation's senior economist Fergal O'Brien acknowledged there could be more quarters of negative growth in 2010, but believed "We can now see some light at the end of the tunnel, however, and the economy should begin to grow again around the middle of next year."

"The worst is now clearly behind us. Most sectors of activity are showing signs of stabilisation", said Mr O'Brien.

National Irish Bank’s chief economist Ronnie O’Toole stressed that the economy was making progress and pointed out that "Unemployment has not risen over the last few months, while income tax revenues have been stronger than expected."

Economists predict some sectors of the Irish economy will grow in 2010 -notably exports and consumer spending- but construction and the public sector will continue to suffer.

The export-oriented Celtic Tiger economy was left severely exposed by the global economic crisis at the end of 2007, becoming the first eurozone country to officially enter recession in 2008.

Following the slump of the nation's property market, the Irish Government was forced into making an urgent, costly banking bailout which put Ireland among the most heavily indebted economies in Europe.

In December 9th 2009, the Irish Government announced further cuts in public spending -the third national budget in 14 months- to rebalance the country's finances.

In what was so far the most severe budget in the history of Ireland, the Government announced €4bn worth of public spending cuts in 2010 which are expected to have a knock-on effect on the Irish economy.

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said "The government's strategy over the last 18 months is working and we can now see the first signs of a recovery here at home and in our main international markets."

As the Irish economy technically moved out of recession, the only European Union member states left to return to economic growth are the United Kingdom, Spain and Greece.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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