Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said he is concerned that a referendum on the planned EU fiscal treaty would focus not on its content but on domestic issues.
Mr Varadkar said he did not think referendums are "very democratic" and said by-and-large referendum campaigns in the past were never about what they are supposed to be about.
He said he would be concerned that a vote on the EU plan would focus on extraneous issues, such as septic tanks, bondholders, the banking crisis or Government cutbacks.
A decision on whether a referendum is needed will be taken after the final text is agreed.
It is expected tomorrow's EU summit will sign off on the text.
The Attorney General will then advise the Government on whether a vote is necessary.
The Minister also said that if a referendum is required by constitution, one will be held.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described the Minister's comments as ridiculous and said they prove that the coalition will do and say anything to avoid a vote on the treaty.
She said the agreement currently being negotiated will not solve the eurozone crisis and will in fact make matters worse.
The TD for Dublin Central also said it is a democratic imperative that the people have their say.
Meanwhile, former Taoiseach John Bruton has praised Enda Kenny for his comments in Davos when he said Irish people had gone mad borrowing.
Mr Bruton said that people appreciate when leaders are honest in international forums and he said that what the Taoiseach had said "went down well".
Speaking to RTÉ's This Week, Mr Bruton said people like such honesty, adding "it shows we're facing up to a problem rather than pretending things are other than they are".
Mr Bruton is currently serving as the President of IFSC Ireland and he said that in his experience people outside Ireland have a more optimistic view of the country than people in Ireland.