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‘Wicked’ on the brink of collapse as Ireland slips into recession

It’s a bleak time for Ireland’s tourism industry as the country’s economy slides into recession.

The Tourism Authority of Ireland said last month that the economy contracted by 4.3pc in the third quarter, down from a 3.6pc contraction a year earlier.

The figures were released as Ireland suffered its worst recession in more than 30 years.

Its tourism industry was hit hard by a slump in the value of the pound, which fell to $1.074 in the first quarter, from $1 in March.

The slump in sterling has helped to weaken the economy, but it is still far behind the eurozone’s average of 1.7pc.

Tourism revenue dropped to $10.4bn in the quarter from $11.4billion a year ago.

That is the lowest figure since the third-quarter of 2008, according to the Tourism and Tourism Investment Agency.

Tourist arrivals to Ireland fell by 2.4pc in 2015, the worst decline since 2007, according the Irish Tourist Board.

The downturn has been aggravated by a decline in the number of tourists coming to Ireland.

A record number of people came to Ireland last year, up from 6.5m in 2014.

A surge in numbers has been the biggest driver of the downturn in the past few years.