Ireland has exited its international bailout, saying it now can finance its government without help from its neighbors in the euro currency bloc.
Ireland received the last portion of its $93 billion bailout last week, and Prime Minister Enda Kenny told his nation Sunday that Ireland is "moving in the right direction."
"Our economy is starting to recover. While we still have far too many people out of work, jobs are being created. While borrowing is still too high, our public finances are moving towards a sustainable position. Internationally, our good name and our credibility have been restored."
Ireland was forced to accept the rescue package in 2010 after borrowers defaulted on a wide collection of real estate loans, overwhelming the economy of the island nation.
Ireland becomes the first of the four eurozone nations that accepted a bailout to exit from controls imposed by other eurozone nations, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Greece, Portugal and Cyprus also accepted bailouts.
Ireland predicted it will be able to borrow the money it needs, at reasonable interest rates, on international financial markets. But it will take years for the country to pay back its bailout, with the last payment not due until 2042.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.