John Corrigan, chief executive of the NTMA has said that Ireland has made significant progress towards achieving sustainable market re-entry.

The head of the National Treasury Management Agency, speaking in Dublin, said that Ireland continued to face challenges.

He said however that positive signs emerging from the economy had encouraged investors.

Mr Corrigan said that investors are 'comfortable' with the Government's adherence to Troika targets and the support of EU leaders for Ireland's market re-entry.

He said that the NTMA's objective is to "achieve sustainable bond market re-entry over the coming months and through 2013".

He said that steps towards that goal were the long-term bond switch in January, the sale of treasury bills and long term bond in July and the first ever sale of Irish Amortising Bonds in August.

John Corrigan said the German Constitutional Court ruling on the ESM is "very positive" for Ireland's efforts to return to market funding.

He said the yield on Irish bonds fell significantly on the news, and he expects the positive sentiment to carry through into tomorrows auction of 3 month treasury bills.

He also said last weeks announcement by the ECB that it would buy government bonds, but would not seek seniority in repayments was positive for government debt "at the short end".

He also noted the plan to issue inflation-linked bonds.

Tackling the "funding cliff" presented by the maturation of €12 billion worth of bonds in January 2014 was the primary objective he said.

The progress in reducing that figure to €2.4 billion has removed a major obstacle to full market re-entry.

Wider euro area risks remain, Mr Corrigan said, but the situation was helped by recent positive developments that included the agreement in principle to direct ESM bank recapitalisation and the ECB's recent pledge on bond buying.

The cost of borrowing for Ireland has fallen below 5.5% today.

The benchmark nine-year Irish Government bond currently has an interest rate or yield of 5.43%.