The head of the International Monetary Fund has said that despite a remarkable economic growth, Ireland has to prepare for international shocks.

Christine Lagarde was speaking following a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

Ms Lagarde said that the sun was shining on the Irish economy, and that the employment rate and growth of the economy was remarkable compared to her first visit in Ireland in 2013.

However, she warned that the country had to be prudent and plan for international economic shocks and this included setting up a rainy day fund.

Quoting former US President John F Kennedy, she said the time to fix the roof was when the sun was shining.

The IMF chief also said there needed to be more women appointed to the boards of banks and this could possibly better prevent a future crisis.

Earlier, Ms Lagarde said that Europe must prepare for an influx of financial firms after Brexit.

Predicting a mass relocation to the continent and Ireland when Britain leaves the European Union, Ms Lagarde stressed the need to enhance the EU's regulatory and supervisory capacity in preparation.

Ms Lagarde is in Dublin to open an event to mark 20 years since the adoption of the Euro single currency. 

"We meet at a moment when the EU and euro area are in the midst of difficult decisions about their future," she said.

"Populist movements - from Brexit to the recent Italian elections - have called into question the value of European integration."

Recommending steps to make the eurozone more resilient to future financial turbulence, she said: "The euro area needs truly integrated financial and capital markets that allow companies to raise financing across borders more easily and support investment.

"In the near-term, it is critical to ensure that regulatory and supervisory capacities are prepared for the influx of financial firms that will move to continental Europe - and Ireland - as a result of Brexit."

The Euro at 20 conference was jointly hosted by the IMF and the Central Bank.


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