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EXPORTS from Ireland are expected to be worth €187bn this year, an increase of 3.3pc on 2012.

Companies who have received funding from local county enterprise boards are now urging others to consider exporting.

Success stories from Carlow include The Hot Irishman, which makes Irish whiskey and other spirits. It has increased its exports from 30pc five years ago to 95pc, while I-Con Windows, which was set up in July 2011, is off to a strong start with exports and has completed a substantial order in New York.

Another firm which is developing its export business is Candle Designs run by Paula Sheridan, a mum-of-four who designs one-offs made to order. Visit www.carlow-ceb.com for details.