Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed that the Government is in negotiations with the European authorities to bring about a major restructuring of Ireland's banking debts.

He told RTÉ's The Week in Politics programme that parallel talks were taking place on both the Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes and the legacy of expensive tracker mortgages in the main banks.

Mr Noonan said he would like to see a situation where the repayment of the Anglo Irish Bank debt was more affordable so we would have a longer time to repay at lower interest rates.

He said the talks, if successful, would "be in the medium term rather than immediately".


Earlier, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said it would not be helpful to engage in public discussion about the specifics of the negotiations with the Troika on the Anglo promissory notes.

Mr Gilmore was responding to reports that Ireland could be allowed to suspend the annual repayments of €3.1bn on Anglo Irish Bank's debt under proposals being considered by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Asked about comments made by Ministers Joan Burton and Brendan Howlin that a deal on Anglo's debt would provide goodwill towards the forthcoming referendum on the EU's fiscal compact treaty, Mr Gilmore said the treaty would stand on its own merits.