Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has reaffirmed its 'BBB' credit rating and maintained its negative outlook on the country despite citing strong progress in stabilising its public finances.

S&P noted risks from Ireland's high debt burden and challenges in complying with the fiscal reform programme agreed with the Troika as part of the bailout deal.

The agency said its "negative outlook" reflects risks to the stability of the financial sector, the government balance sheet and "uncertain growth prospects".