The Taoiseach has said that he expects the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be held in early October.

Brian Cowen was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day EU summit, which has agreed to legally binding guarantees on the application of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland.

The summit also agreed to an Irish request that the guarantees also be incorporated as a protocol to the EU treaties.

'There will be a protocol to give a legal value to the guarantees ... It is stressed that this does not modify in any way the content of the treaty for the other 26,' French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters.

Mr Cowen said that the guarantees ensured Irish control over tax rates, military neutrality and the Irish Constitution's provisions on social and family law, including the right to life.

He said these guarantees, and the declaration on workers' rights, and the decision taken last December that every country will keep its own commissioner, enables him to go back to the Government next week and recommend the holding of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking on RTÉ's News At One, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said the legislation to enable the referendum to take place will go before the Dáil before it adjourns for the summer recess early next month.

The Taoiseach said the agreement today would come as a great disappointment to No campaigners as they confirm that many of the arguments used against the treaty last year were bogus.

Mr Cowen added that the guarantees had clearly and decisively dealt with the concerns of the Irish people, and he was grateful to the other member states for that.

He described the deal as 'the best possible legal guarantee we can obtain for our people as they (protocols) are of full legal effect'.

No campaigners label deal a 'smokescreen'

Opponents of the Lisbon Treaty have dismissed the agreement as a 'smokescreen' that does not fundamentally alter the treaty.

Patricia McKenna of the People's Movement said the declarations were not as legally binding as the treaty.

Padraig Mannion of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance predicted that once people focused on the issues, they would again reject the treaty.José Manuel Barroso - Second term

Last night at the summit, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso won the unanimous backing of EU leaders for a second five-year term in office.

However, the former Portuguese prime minister still requires the approval of the European Parliament.

The leaders also agreed that a new pan-EU body to monitor risk in the union's financial system should choose its own chairman, rather than have one imposed by the European Central Bank.

Read Sean Whelan's analysis of the Lisbon Treaty guarantees