Fianna Fáil says it believes a deal on the Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes is still possible before the next €3.1bn payment at the end of March.

Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the Government should seek a postponement of any repayments on the notes until Ireland's economic circumstances have improved dramatically.

Deputy McGrath said he believes a deal "is in the offing", with support from the IMF and our European partners.

He was responding to comments by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who earlier said progress had been made on seeking French support for a restructuring of Ireland's bank debt.

Speaking following a meeting with French Finance Minister Francois Baroin in Paris, Mr Noonan also refused to rule out the possibility that a deal on promissory notes was achievable

"In European affairs things go right up till the end," Minister Noonan said.

Minister Noonan said the ECB was also looking for changes to the Anglo promissory notes on the collateral side.

When asked about EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn's remarks on Tuesday appearing to rule out an immediate concession on Ireland's bank debt, the minister said Mr Rehn was "caught unawares."

"Commissioner Rehn had had two very difficult days on Monday and Tuesday with the Spanish and Hungary situation. He was frayed and caught unawares and he didn't put things in context," the minister said.

He said that when the technical work on the promissory notes was completed by the Troika he would return to seek support from Mr Baroin.

"It was quite positive. Naturally he laid out the European perspective on things, but the approach was quite positive on that.

"If it was a case that Ireland was looking for support from 26 capitals in Europe looking for support for an Irish proposal the chances of success would be very slim.

"But if it's a European and IMF policy document and the European authorities as well as Ireland are seeking support saying this is good for the (European) community and it's also good for Ireland, it would be easier to elicit support. So, I made progress today," he said.

Mr Noonan accepted that the ECB governing council would be the ultimate arbiter on whether the promissory notes would be restructured, but added that the ECB itself was looking for changes to the promissory notes and it was important that the Government aligned its interests with the ECB's interests.