Enda Kenny thanks Ireland as country exits its bailout programme

Ireland set to return to the money markets as the first euro zone nation to have completed a strict bailout programme

Ireland's national pride has been restored, but the lives of its people won't change overnight as the country re-enters the money markets, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned.

In a televised address to the nation, Kenny thanked the Irish people for their efforts and insisted their sacrifices are beginning to pay off as Ireland officially emerged from its 85 billion euro (£72bn) bailout programme.

But the Taoiseach acknowledged that despite recent economic improvements, many are yet to feel the benefits.

"This is an important step but it is not an end in itself. Our lives won't change overnight," Mr Kenny said.

"But it does send out a powerful signal internationally, that Ireland is fighting back, that the spirit of our people is as strong as ever.

"Your patience and resilience have restored our national pride and empowered us to face the challenges that remain."

Ireland's national pride has been restored, but the lives of its people won't change overnight, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned. (Getty Images)  

Ireland is set to re-enter the money markets today as the first eurozone nation to have completed a strict bailout programme imposed by the Troika, led by the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.

The Irish public has endured four austerity budgets and 12 intense reviews by the Troika.

Overall, the government has hiked taxes to the tune of 5.3 billion euro (£4.5 billion) and cut public spending by  9.6 billion euro (£8.1 billion).

Kenny said the Government's plan for the future will be built on enterprise and not speculation.

He pledged to increase total employment to over 2 million people by 2020, which he said will replace all of the jobs that were lost during the crisis.

Unemployment has eased in recent months, falling to its lowest level in four years in November at 12.5 per cent, but youth unemployment remains a problem.

Overall, one in four Irish under 25 is still unemployed.

"Throughout our history, the Irish people have always shown that nothing is impossible for us to achieve, when we really apply ourselves to a challenge or cause," he said.

"Believe me, Government will work with you to put in place the foundations for a secure and prosperous future for you and the next generation.

"I thank you for the part that you have played in Ireland's recovery to date.

"My commitment to you and to your families is that for the remainder of its term, this government will work, might and mane, to finish the job that you entrusted to us."

Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan, hailed the country's bailout exit as a "very significant milestone" and described the Irish people as the real "heroes and heroines",  but insisted that the country must continue to make "prudent" economic and social decisions.

Watch Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the video below:

 

Additional reporting PA

News
people
Sport
Newcastle players celebrate, Mario Balotelli scores, Alan Pardew and Brendan Rodgers
footballNewcastle vs Liverpool , Arsenal vs Burnley, Chelsea vs QPR and Everton vs Swansea
News
i100Amazing Amazon review bomb
Arts and Entertainment
The Spice Girls' feminism consisted of shouting 'girl power' and doing peace signs in latex catsuits
musicWhat is it? You know what you want it to be...
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
News
Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
News
i100
Extras
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Travel
travelPurrrfect jet comes to Europe
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch attends the London premiere of his new film The Imitation Game
people He's not as smart as his characters
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities