Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has claimed the statement agreed at the end of last week's European Council has weakened Ireland's position on renegotiating the interest rate on our bailout deal.

Mr Martin told the Dáil the statement issued after the Council on 11 March said the interest rate would have to be renegotiated to ensure Ireland could repay its debt, but last week's statement expressed confidence that Ireland's debt would be sustainable, without mentioning the interest rate.

He asked the Taoiseach why he had agreed to a weaker text.

Mr Kenny did not respond directly, but said he was confident an agreement could be reached on the interest rate, but Ireland would not change its corporation tax rate in return.