Thursday 22 March 2018

We can trade our way back to prosperity

But Ireland must not be blackmailed on the crucial issue of its corporation tax rate, writes Willie O'Dea

Today, as we mark the 95th anniversary of the Easter 1916 Rising, is a good time to focus on some positive news and remind ourselves of the words of Sean Lemass, who said that "there is nothing on earth that the people of this country cannot do better, or as well as any other people".

Last Thursday's announcement of record export figures for February is a timely reminder of the basic truth of Lemass's words. The fact that these figures come on top of almost a year of impressive export growth is not just good news in itself; it is further proof that the pain and difficulties imposed and endured in 2009 and 2010 are yielding results.

We can -- and we will -- trade our way back to prosperity. While there are things the last government got wrong, the one thing it did get right was taking the actions needed to make our exports more competitive in a very tough international trading environment.

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