Ireland exiting international bailout in December

Three-years after a £71 billion bailout, Ireland is looking to exit the programme next month.

Edna Kenny the Irish prime minister confirmed the move in a speech to the Irish parliament. Although being one of the deepest hit countries in the recession the Irish economy is now showing signs of recovery.

Kenny said: “We will exit the bailout in a strong position. The government has been preparing for a return to normal market trading.

"We will set out a path to a brighter economic future for our people, a path from mass unemployment to full employment, from involuntary emigration to the return of thousands of people who have to leave for other countries to find work.

"Today is just the latest step in that ongoing journey, a significant step indeed but also just another step towards our ultimate job of getting Ireland working again."

John Campbell, editor of BBC Northern Ireland business and economics said: "When those markets froze, Ireland's banking system came close to collapse and had to be bailed out by the Irish taxpayer. At that point, the economy entered a deep recession. Since then nearly €20bn (£16.7bn) of spending cuts and tax rises have been introduced, but foreign investment has continued to flow into the country. This is because the Republic of Ireland is still one of the most business-friendly economies in the world."

Campell adds: "It also has a young, well-educated workforce and taxes on profits for all companies, domestic or global, stand at a headline rate of 12.5%. It has helped to attract the world's biggest names in technology. Facebook, Google, Twitter and AOL all have major operations around Dublin."