The Irish government has thanked American investor Michael Hasenstab for buying over $8billion of the country’s debt – and claimed it is proof they are on the road to recovery.

San Francisco based Hasenstab has been confirmed as the biggest single investor in Ireland’s future according to new figures.

Hasenstab has purchased the state debt through his Templeton Global Fund.

The speculator is adamant that Ireland is on the right track to pull itself out of the red.

He said: “It will be challenging but Ireland continues to take the necessary steps on the road toward recovery.”

The 38-year-old has raised eyebrows with his massive gamble on Ireland’s future.

A senior rival bond investor told the Irish Sun newspaper: “It’s a punchy bet. It’s quite unusual to hold such a large position. Templeton building up such a large position has been a major driver for Ireland’s performance this year.

“If they get it right they’ll be heroes but if they ever have to get rid of some of their position it will be very difficult.”

Hasenstab’s investment in Ireland has been hailed by theIrish government who say it vindicates their efforts to drag the country out of recession.

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes said: “They see Irish debt as very good value and have taken a firm decision that the Irish economy is recovering, has turned the corner and they will be paid back.

“They will yield a substantial dividend from it.”

Writing for the Wall Street Journal last year, Hasenstab described Ireland as an example for other struggling bailout nations to follow.

He wrote: “If investors would be short-sighted to overlook Ireland’s progress toward lower debt and faster growth, other governments would have to be blind to ignore how Dublin has managed it.”