Noonan named Europe’s best finance minister by The Banker magazine

Michael Noonan has been named Europe’s Finance Minister of the Year by financial publication The Banker for the “extraordinary progress” made in improving Ireland’s economy.

The magazine, which is owned by The Financial Times, said Mr Noonan had overseen a number of important achievements in 2013, including the Anglo promissory note deal and Ireland’s exit from its bailout.

“No one is under any illusion about the challenges still facing Ireland,” said the magazine’s editorial piece explaining its decision.

“Nonetheless, having inherited an economy in recession and a government reliant on an IMF and EU bailout in 2011, Michael Noonan has made extraordinary progress.”

It said the country’s re-entry into the bond market was “key” to its transition, while improving unemployment figures and an expectation of growth in 2014 pointed to an improvement in Ireland’s economic situation.