Ireland's economy shrank 8.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, as the eurozone member was hammered by the financial crisis, official data showed on Tuesday.
"Compared with the corresponding quarter of 2008, GDP (gross domestic product) at constant prices was 8.5 per cent lower while GNP was 12.0 per cent lower," the Central Statistics Office said in a statement.
GNP - gross national product - is regarded as a more accurate barometer of the country's economic performance as it strips out substantial repatriated foreign investment profits.
The former "Celtic Tiger" economy was savaged by the global financial crisis and the collapse of a domestic property bubble, and last September became the first eurozone member to fall into recession in the current downturn.
The nation is also suffering from soaring unemployment and tumbling retail sales.