Franklin Templeton's Michael Hasenstab, who made billions investing in Irish bonds, continued to cut his holdings of Irish debt in the first three months of this year as yields plunged. 

The amount of Irish debt held by Hasenstab's Templeton Global Bond Fund and the Templeton Global Total Return Fund fell 61% to a face value of €1.8 billion during the first quarter.

This is according to figures compiled by Bloomberg from filings. 

In the six months to March, the holdings fell by 73%, or by €5 billion. 

"Ireland's economic and financial policy management of the crisis will remain an important model from which other countries can learn," Michael Hasenstab said in an e-mailed statement.

"It is heartening to see the hard work and sacrifices paying off," the statement added. 

Hasenstab snapped up Irish Government bonds during the financial crisis to become the largest private holder of its debt. 

The fund manager began to build his position in 2011, as Ireland's benchmark 10-year bond yield reached a euro-era high of 14.2%. 

The yield has since plunged to 0.73%, helped by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's quantitative easing programme. 

Irish Government bonds maturing in 2018 now carry a negative yield, and Irish bonds have returned about 71% since the end of 2011, according to an index compiled by Bloomberg. 

But some of Hasenstab's bets have not paid off as well, with Ukraine negotiating with a group of five creditors - including Franklin Templeton - as the nation struggles to repay debt.