Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, has welcomed the CSO Quarterly figures released yesterday which show that the Irish economy grew by 7.7% in GDP terms and by 9% in GNP terms year on year.

“The news that the Irish economy has grown by 7.7% GDP and by 9% GNP since this time last year is really positive and I believe it will be good for Kildare. Most encouragingly the figures are showing the domestic economy growing again with consumer spending up 1.8% year on year. We are finally starting to feel the effects of this recovery across the country, although there is still further to go.

“GDP and GNP are the main indicators of how our economy is doing and this news that both have grown so substantially within the last twelve months is extremely positive.

“This is the strongest growth rate recorded since the early 2000s and means that Ireland’s growth is now the strongest in the EU.

“In the past three years the Government has taken some very difficult decisions and the public has made real sacrifices. The turnaround that we are seeing in the Irish economy is a direct consequence of the policies pursued by this Government and the sacrifices made by the Irish people. Major structural reforms designed to boost the competitiveness of the Irish economy have been introduced and the figures show these measures have been successful.

“This news comes only days after Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD’s IMF loan negotiations which will save the Irish tax payer €1.5 billion over a five year period.

“There are 70,000 more people in jobs now than in 2012, the highest number since 2009. The unemployment rate is now down to 11.2% from a peak of 15.1%. The recovery is underway but we are not there yet. Unemployment in Kildare remains too high and local people need to feel the effects of the improving economy. Creating jobs and supporting work remains this Government’s top priority.”