New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the Government Deficit - the amount of money it has to borrow to run day to day activities - stood at €1.269 billion at the end of June. 

This is down from €2.324 billion the same time last year. 

The CSO said this amounted to 1% of GDP, a figure that is well within the parameters set down by the EU and lower than the 1.9% of GDP in the first six months of 2015. 

During the six month period, Government revenue rose by 3.4% on the back of a 7.1% increase in taxation, which was partially offset by a fall in investment income.

Today's CSO figures also show that the national debt declined by €6.5 billion and now stands at €200.1 billion, or 77.8% of GDP. 

This compares to a debt level of 90.8% of GDP for the same time last year.

Today's figures were affected by the country's inflated GDP figures last year which makes the debt and deficit look proportionately smaller.

Figures released by the CSO in July showed that the economy grew by an enormous 26% last year. Much of the increase was as a result of aircraft purchases, corporate restructuring and companies re-locating assets to Ireland.