Northern Ireland

Ireland bailout targets met

Pedestrians walk past a discount store on Moore Street in Dublin
Image caption European financial authorities say Ireland is 'on track'

Ireland is meeting all of the conditions of its bailout, according to the international bodies responsible for financing it.

The European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have agreed the Republic's economy is "on track".

Ireland's debt rating has been downgraded to junk status by ratings agency Moody's.

The Irish finance minister said he was pleased with the review's decision.

A £85bn baillout package for the Republic was agreed in November 2010. The support programme is due to end in late 2013.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has urged European leaders to take collective and decisive action to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone.

The Taoiseach blamed the downgrading of Ireland's debt rating on European leadership, rather than the fundamentals of the Irish economy.

Speaking in Dublin on Thursday, he said a meeting of the key leaders which had initially been expected to happen on Friday should only go ahead whenever countries were ready to take serious decisions.

"Europe collectively has a responsibility to deal with this problem," he said.

"There isn't any point in having a meeting that is only just talking around this. There are serious decisions to be taken."

Irish government sources say hopes of a weekend meeting of leaders to resolve the crisis had receded as there was still "too much work to be done".