Ireland fell back into recession in the last quarter of 2011, according to official figures released on Thursday.
Its economy shrank by 0.2% from October to December, following a contraction of 1.1% in the third quarter, as a slowdown in global demand hit exports.
Reduced domestic spending also contributed to the economic weakness.
Ireland, which received an internation bailout in 2010, now joins fellow eurozone countries Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Greece in recession.
In November 2010, the Irish government was awarded €85bn euros (£71bn) of emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund and European Union, as it struggled to cope with big debts and the high cost of its borrowing, the BBC reports.
The Irish government also secured a loan from the UK.
Once known as the Celtic Tiger because of its strong economic growth, fuelled by low corporation tax rates, the Republic's financial woes were centred on the bursting of a property bubble.
This left the country's banks with huge liabilities, and the banks subsequently had to be bailed out by the government, putting extreme pressure on the state's finances.
Such is the poor state of the Dublin government's finances that Irish central bank governor, Patrick Honohan, is expected to ask the ECB for permission to delay a payment of €3.1bn (£2.6bn) on its banking debt, according to the Guardian.
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