By Juno McEnroe, Political Reporter Atlanta, US
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the economic recovery has taken hold in Ireland and that all sectors are now growing.
Beginning his St Patrick's Day, week-long visit in the United States, he also told a a chamber of commerce breakfast meeting in Atlanta that Ireland's corporation tax would not be changed.
He told guests that Ireland had come through a "torrid time" and that difficult decisions had been made to sort out the country.
Mr Kenny said the "recovery had taken hold", pointing out that Brussels had predicted the country would be Europe's fastest growing economy for the second year running.
He said: "It's important to make the distinction, the so called Celtic Tiger years you may have heard of were a veneer, driven in many cases by shallowness and greed.
"The economy was expected to be built and to be sustained on one platform only and that collapsed. Now it's different, all the sectors of our economy are growing, all of them."
All sectors were now growing, he said.
Borrowing was falling, he added, and the deficit would be well below 3% by the end of the year.
Families though were not interested in growth yields or bonds, he noted, pointing out that they had seen a modest growth in their income in the last budget.
He said: "And that’s why I’m here this week – in Atlanta, in Austin and in Washington D.C. – to do business. Business which benefits both countries. Which creates jobs here in the US and in Ireland.
"There are many good reasons why so many American companies have already made the decision to invest in Ireland."
Mr Kenny will take part in the city's St Patrick's Day parade tomorrow and hold business meetings with the US-Irish networks before travelling to Washington to meet US president Barack Obama next week.