Prestigious award for finance minister
The Republic's finance minister, Michael Noonan (70), has been named European Finance Minister of the Year 2014 by the Financial Times' influential magazine 'The Banker'.
The gong came as Ireland restored its economic sovereignty as it exited the EU/IMF/ECB bailout at the end of last year.
It also came amid growing signs of a recovery in the Irish economy and a day after Ireland's first post-bailout bond market sale through which €3.75bn was raised.
The awards celebrate ministers who have managed to restore economic stability and in some cases growth to their economies.
According to the magazine editor Brian Kaplen: "The Banker also awarded Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan as the best in Europe for his efforts in bringing about Ireland's exit from the International Monetary Fund/EU support programme and re-entering the capital markets."
Mr Noonan said he was happy to receive the award. "I am very pleased to have received this award. Ireland has made significant progress over the past 12 months," he added.
The Banker is one of the most-read monthly financial magazines in Europe.