By Jonathan Davies

Ireland's economy is now larger than it was before the financial crisis, according to official figures.

The economy grew by a revised 5.2% in the past year, as output reached €189 billion (£132bn) in 2014.

Growth continued at 1.4% in the first quarter of 2015, making it on track to be the fastest growing economy in Europe for the second year in a row.

The strong growth has come after it exited a €67bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 18 months ago.


Another economy badly affected by the financial crisis, Spain, also posted strong growth. The Spanish economy grew by 1% in the second quarter, up from 0.9% in Q1. It was the fastest growth Spain has seen since before the crash in 2007.

Despite huge problems in unemployment, which stands at 22.4%, the Spanish government expects growth of 3.3% this year.