Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told a gathering of Irish and Irish-American business people in New York that Ireland has nothing to fear in relation to its tax system.

Mr Kenny was speaking at the annual dinner of the Ireland-US Council where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

He told the gathering that the Government had changed the rules that applied to tax.

Mr Kenny said it removed the "Double Irish" loophole in the Budget and there were "no brass plates in Ireland".

He said this had been causing "reputational damage" so it was removed. 

Mr Kenny said the corporate tax rate would stay at 12.5% and that Ireland was "not afraid to lead or be pioneers".

He said the country had nothing to fear when it came to tax, and that it had the greatest talent pool on the planet so could withstand any competition.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said last month that the "Double Irish" mechanism would be phased out for companies already using it by the end of 2020.

The National Foreign Trade Council, which represents US companies with operations abroad, has said it does not believe US companies would leave Ireland because of the taxation changes.