The yield on Irish government ten year bonds - in effect, the cost of government borrowing - has fallen to a new low of 1.76%.

The spread - the difference between Irish and German borrowing costs - is now 84.9 basis points.

100 basis points equates to one percent.

In July 2011, the Irish ten year equivalent yield spiked at 14%.

The high cost of borrowing pushed the Irish government out of the bond market in 2010.

Bond yields across Europe are falling as investors believe that the European Central Bank is about to announce a large-scale bond buying programme as part of efforts to kickstart the eurozone economy.

The ECB has been grappling with low growth in Europe's major economies and persistently low inflation across the eurozone.