Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has upgraded Ireland's outlook from ‘-A’ to ‘A’ with a stable outlook.
It cited "solid economic growth, job creation, management of public finances and early repayment by NAMA of senior bonds" as reasons for the upgrade.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said it was further evidence that Ireland's economic recovery has firmly taken hold.
Standard and Poor’s also lowered Italy’s credit rating one notch, saying it expects much slower economic growth than official forecasts.
It cut its rating on Italy’s debt to BBB-. That’s its lowest investment-grade rating and one notch above “junk” status.
S&P said it expects the Italian economy will emerge from recession early next year.
But the agency predicts Italy’s economy will grow only 0.2% in 2015, down from S&P’s previous forecast of 1.1 percent for the year.