Irish president signs law dissolving 'bad bank' after early-morning legislative session

Ireland's president has signed legislation dissolving one of the country's "bad banks" Thursday in an emergency measure designed to pave the way for a new debt-repayment deal with the European Central Bank.

Lawmakers in both chambers of Ireland's parliament overwhelmingly voted to liquidate the Irish Bank Resolution Corp, after debates that started just after midnight and concluded just before 6 a.m. (0600GMT). Ireland's head of state, President Michael D. Higgins, was summoned back from the start of a three-day visit to Italy to sign the bill into law an hour later.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan told lawmakers they must approve the measure before Ireland's courts opened Thursday because private creditors of the state-owned debt management bank would file lawsuits to block or complicate the bank's dismantling.