Ireland’s leader Enda Kenny has said Irish people have gained a new sense of values as a result of the country’s recession.

Speaking to Time Magazine, the Fine Gael leader suggested that while there are still challenging times ahead for the Irish economy, people were embracing the difficulties.

“I see returns in the signs of confidence,” Kenny said, during the cover interview for the upcoming edition of the magazine.

“People tell me their own stories, about how they have come through great difficulty. But now they have a new sense of values and they see new horizons opening up.”

Kenny described the Celtic Tiger boom as false years that were “built on the veneer of endless wealth without hard work.”

He said the Irish nation was responding positively to the austerity measures in place.

“People understand that you have to do difficult things to sort out our own public finances.”

“The is the fourth year of this recession and it has been and it has been very challenging for so many people. But they look say ’Look you were elected to deal with this problem, we know it’s difficult.”

The Prime Ministercited foreign direct investment and exports as key growth areas for Ireland’s future.

Q&A with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny: