Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris has said an upgrade by credit ratings agency Fitch has direct implications for Ireland's ability to borrow on international markets.

Fitch is the second agency to move Ireland back to an A rating.

Mr Harris said it is encouraging news and a testament to the hard work of people over the last few years.

The upgrade is another encouraging piece of economic commentary in advance of the Budget, he said.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Phoenix Park Tourist Train this morning.

The Tourist Train offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a hop-on hop-off trip around the park.

Meanwhile, Mr Harris said it is important that people can have confidence that their data is protected.

He was reacting to claims that credit unions may have hired private investigators to obtain confidential details on customers.

The minister said there is an ongoing investigation by the Data Protection Commissioner's office and potential court proceedings on the way.

He said he had no doubt a thorough investigation will be carried out.