S&P downgrades Ireland

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has downgraded the Irish Republic to its lowest sovereign rating in 15 years.

S&P has cut the rating one step from AA to AA-, its lowest since 1995, having cited the fact that costs continued to rise as the country looked to boost its troubled banking sector.

The ratings agency believes the Irish government may now spend a total of £74 billion propping up the sector. It says a further downgrade would be forthcoming if these costs continue to rise or the recovery slows.