The Irish Government welcomes the collapse of the euro as the economy will receive a welcome boost through increased exports, more tourism and an improvement in trade generally.

"The irony in this is that, in private, we are delighted in the short term to see it fall," said a senior Irish government source. "We have to be seen to be pulling together in public but it is my belief that Angela Merkel's solo runs on fiscal policy have done at least as much to destabilize the euro as have the Greeks."

"After all, we are Ireland, not Germany, and we are minnows in this game. The strong euro has become a sacred cow, something like the gold standard used to be. Its weakness suits us fine."

Ireland has worked closely with France to support the rescue package for the euro. Despite the German-led dogma of a strong currency the slump in the euro has already boosted exports in Ireland by $7.44 million.

Yesterday, the Minister of State at the Irish Department of Finance, Martin Mansergh, gave a speech which suggested the fall of the euro could save Irish jobs. 

"We have made a lot of progress in restoring our lost competitiveness, reflected in double-digit export growth this year, which has also been helped by a weaker euro, particularly vis-a-vis the dollar. Improved competitiveness is by far the surest route to job preservation and replacement," Dr Mansergh said.

Dr Garret FitzGerald, Former Taoiseach, said in the Irish Times, yesterday that the sharp drop in the euro should help start a reversal of the 25 percent decline in the value of non-chemical and pharmaceutical exports of the past eight years.

Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Economist pointed out the huge benefits which the country at large will see from this situation.

“When we talk about exports we tend to focus on multinationals. But we also have to remember the problem we had a year or two ago when we had a sharp rise in the value of the euro against sterling. It wasn't just exporters who were wounded by that but everyone trying to sell almost anything, whether it was in Dublin or Galway.

"Suddenly shopping in the North became dramatically cheaper. This fall in the euro is a very welcome development because it bolsters the position of a lot of small domestic companies that are competing with the UK or competing with importers," he said.

"It is worth emphasizing that the recent fall has brought the euro close to its long-term average. It started at €1.17 (against the dollar); the average over 11 years is €1.18; and now we are hitting €1.24 so it's not at crisis level."

He also added that tourism in Ireland and consumerism would be improved by the current condition of the euro.

“People here will think twice about going to the US and may stay and spend at home, while at the same time Ireland becomes more attractive for transatlantic and UK visitors,” said Hughes.

"In a general sense, if someone is looking at buying a camera, then the cost of buying it over the internet from the US relative to buying it in a camera shop here in Ireland has improved in favor of the domestic retailer.

"The fall also helps consumers because it should mean less pressure on jobs and to that extent consumers' fears about possible lay-offs will ease. There is no question that it significantly eases the pressure on a lot of firms that were in deep trouble 12 months ago.”

Dr Michael Somers of the National Treasury Management Agency commented on the importance for Ireland of maintaining the single currently.

He said “We've got to stick in there [with the euro] no matter what happens. You certainly don't want to see the thing begin to crumble. I saw what happened to us in 1992 and 1993 when we had our so-called independent currency. We were in the EMS at the time and you could float a bit within that, but once Britain devalued or actually fell out of the system, the pressure was absolutely enormous to devalue the currency.

"I came to the conclusion that a small country, particularly a small open economy, could not have its own currency because you would have to maintain interest rates at a much higher level than would be justified by reference to your economic situation to defend your currency against speculators.”