Ireland was marking on Friday its exit from its three-year bailout programme run by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Ireland is the first of the Eurozone bailout countries to complete its rescue programme and has opted to do so without a precautionary line of credit from its EU partners.

Ireland was forced to accept a bailout as its banking and fiscal crises threatened to destabilise the euro in November 2010.

The bailout includes loans from the European Union and member states amounting to €45 billion and a €22.5 billion line of credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Having endured successive austerity budgets during the three years, Ireland will now be free of any restrictions that accepting precautionary credit from its EU partners would have entailed.

The government hopes the bailout exit will trigger a positive response from the Moody’s rating agency.

The yield on government bonds is now at 3.5 per cent, down from a peak of 14.5 per cent. The country now has fewer, smaller banks.

Unemployment fell to 12.9 per cent in September — the lowest rate since 2009 — and growth in gross domestic product of 1.8 per cent is expected in 2014.

There will be a news conference at Government Buildings Friday by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin to mark the last working day of the programme.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny is expected to give a national televised address on Sunday night to mark the official bailout exit.

Mr. Kenny told Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE Wednesday that his televised message would be one of thanks to the people of Ireland for having made exceptional sacrifices, as part of a process of fixing the public finances and getting people back to work.