DUBLIN (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s upgraded its outlook on Ireland’s credit rating to positive from stable on Friday saying the government may beat its fiscal targets and cut its debt faster than expected.
The move comes six months ahead of the country’s planned exit from its EU/IMF bailout, which will require a full return to borrowing on bond markets. It will also be a boost to sentiment after data last month showed Ireland had unexpectedly tipped into recession for the first time in four years.
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s parliament voted on Friday to allow abortion under certain conditions for the first time, following months of polarizing debate in the Catholic country including letters to the premier written in blood.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny has provoked protest from both sides of the debate by pushing through a compromise that will allow abortion, but only when a woman’s life is in danger. His governing party has faced down more rebels over the issue than it did over its harsh austerity measures.
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s Europe minister quit on Thursday over plans to legalize abortion for the first time as Prime Minister Enda Kenny pressed ahead with legislation that has polarized the staunchly Roman Catholic country.
Kenny has provoked a strong backlash by pushing for access to abortion when a woman’s life is in danger. Both sides of the debate have attacked Kenny’s stance and the government has faced down more rebels on the issue than it did over its painful economic austerity plans.
DUBLIN, June 27 (Reuters) – Ireland’s economy slid into
recession late last year and continued to contract sharply in
early 2013, new and revised figures showed on Thursday, just
months before it is due to exit its EU/IMF bailout programme.
Gross domestic product shrank 0.6 percent in the first
quarter of this year from the previous three months, confounding
analysts’ expectations of 0.3 percent growth – a shock reading
that shows the euro member is recovering from financial crisis
much more slowly than previously thought.
The Irish government has agreed to pay up 58 million euros (48.93 million pounds) to hundreds of women forced to work at the Catholic Church’s notorious Magdalene Laundries after a report found that a quarter of them were sent there by the Irish state.
DUBLIN, June 26 (Reuters) – Ireland’s central bank will
investigate whether tapes of senior bankers laughing at
regulators contain evidence rules were broken during the 2008
rescue of failed lenders that eventually led to the country’s EU
In a statement on Wednesday, the central bank said it would
liaise with police over the probe into whether breaches of
regulatory requirements had occurred. “The Central Bank is
carefully studying the various transcripts emerging. This is
something that is viewed very seriously,” it said.
DUBLIN, June 25 (Reuters) – Ireland’s deputy prime minister
laid in to “arrogant” executives on Tuesday at a failed bank who
mocked government efforts to tackle an economic crisis, amid
growing public outrage at the latest revelations in tapes of
bank executive phone calls.
The revelations were seen as potentially damaging to
Ireland’s efforts to obtain concessions from the European Union
on the terms of a bank rescue that pushed it to an
85-billion-euro ($111 billion) bailout.
DUBLIN/MADRID, June 24 (Reuters) – Indebted Spanish group
Telefonica has agreed to sell its O2 Ireland mobile
business for at least 780 million euros ($1 billion) in cash to
Hutchison Whampoa’s local unit 3 Ireland, it was
announced on Monday.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would
quadruple 3 Ireland’s market share to 37.5 percent and follows
Hutchison’s failed bid last year for eircom, which owns the
country’s third-biggest mobile operator Meteor.
BELFAST (Reuters) – More than 1,000 trade unionists, environmentalists and anti-poverty campaigners confronted heavy security in Belfast on Saturday to voice their anger at G8 leaders who meet in Northern Ireland next week.
Stilt-walkers, drummers and protesters in Halloween masks chanted slogans against everything from U.S. foreign policy to local government cutbacks as they snaked their way through the city, flanked by hundreds of armed police.
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron is gambling that the remnants of the Irish Republican Army are too weak to trouble the world’s most powerful leaders when they meet five miles from the scene of one of the worst killings in Northern Ireland’s recent history.
Cameron’s government has chosen a secluded lakeside hotel near Enniskillen to host U.S. President Barack Obama and his Group of Eight colleagues at a summit next week, banking on its remote location to deter anti-globalists, Islamists and any other potential trouble-makers.