The IMF has again urged EU authorities to reduce Ireland's debt burden to ensure the country does not need a second bailout.

Publishing the eighth review of the Irish programme, the IMF's mission chief for Ireland Craig Beaumont said selling the Irish banks to the Europan bailout fund the ESM would play a key role in reducing the debt burden, but said ESM funding may take some time.

In the short-term, he said, the ECB could start buying Irish government bonds to reduce interest rates.

As a priority, the €28 billion outstanding debt on the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note should be restructured before the end of March, he said.