At times it must have required the patience of a saint but after eight, long years of penance, the time for atonement may be nearing.
Ireland’s finance minister Michael Noonan has announced plans to float Allied Irish Bank on the stock market in the coming weeks, a hugely symbolic move on Ireland’s path back to economic rehabilitation after its massive bailout at the height of the financial crisis in 2010.
The collapse of Allied Irish was at the heart of the country’s international bailout. Dublin’s inability to finance the rescue of AIB, along with chief rival Anglo Irish and a handful of other smaller lenders, ultimately forced it into an eye-watering €67.5bn (£56.5bn) rescue at the hands of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank.
And although Ireland’s sharp recovery enabled it to beat fellow bankrupts Greece, Cyprus and Portugal, to become the…