Interest owed on Irish debt falls below €7bn

The first year-on-year decline in our interest bill since 2008...

Interest owed on Irish debt falls below €7bn

File photo: Finance Minister Michael Noonan at an NTMA event

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has announced that the interest the State owes on Ireland's debt dropped below the €7bn mark in 2015.

The early repayment of the country's IMF loans contributed significantly to the reduction, the agency said.

With our interest bill having come in at €7.5bn in 2014, it marks the first year-on-year decline in debt interest we have enjoyed since 2008.

Ireland's debt pile stands at over €200bn.

NTMA chief executive Conor O'Kelly warned that "we do faces challenges" as the agency launched its annual report.

He said:

"Firstly, the supportive environment provided by the ECB's quantitative easing programme should not be underestimated.

"Secondly, as so have said before, our debt is over €200bn and the UK referendum outcome is a reminder that Ireland is not immune to domestic or external shocks."

Reacting to the CSO's much-criticised 2015 GDP figure of 26.3% also announced this week, O'Kelly said that it was a "bit of a surprise" but added that investors understood the nature of the economy.