It’s more than the luck of the Irish that has the country’s stocks surging this year said Kieran Donoghue, Executive Vice President at IDA Ireland. 'I think what’s really driving this is renewed confidence in the Irish recovery story and the fact that we had the highest growth rate on a GDP basis in the E.U. last year,' said Donoghue about the 16% year-to-date jump in the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF. 'I think investors are looking at Ireland now and they see that success story and they want to be part of it.' Ireland’s GDP grew 4.8% in 2014, fastest in the EU. In other words, the emerald isle has clearly come a long way from the financial crisis when it was grouped with four other economically shattered eurozone nations - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain - to make up the so-called PIIGS. So how did Ireland emerge from one of five PIIGS to the leader of the pack? 'Firstly, we recognized we had a problem. Secondly, we engaged in constructive dialogue with our creditors. We came up with a plan. We agreed to that plan with the I.M.F. and the E.C.B. And we executed on it. We targeted our deficit. We needed to get it down from 10% to 3% of G.D.P. and we are on track to do that,' said Donoghue. And unlike Greece, which rejected austerity and is now on the brink of leaving the eurozone, Ireland stuck to its fiscal diet and emerged leaner and more competitive.

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