The European Commission has said it is continuing to work on technical solutions to the Irish bank debt issue, saying that it would be up to the ECB and eurozone finance ministers to take any further decisions on the issue.

It said: "The Commission continues to work on technical solutions to improve the sustainability of the Irish programme.

"It will be for the Eurogroup to agree how to take this discussion forward, in line with its statement of 9 July 2012."

There was no further comment on reports by the Bloomberg news service that a deal on bank debt may not be due by the end of October, as originally forecast during the summer by the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn.

At a summit of EU leaders in Brussels in June it was agreed that the EU authorities would look at the Irish banking sector with a view to improving "the sustainability" of the Irish bailout programme.

The summit also agreed to allow the permanent EU bailout mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism, to directly recapitalise banks.

While the summit was dealing mainly with the Spanish banking sector, there was an implicit understanding that any arrangement for Spain could be applied retroactively for Ireland's bank debt legacy.

An EU source told RTÉ News that Ireland "could be an obvious candidate" for direct support through the ESM, but stressed that much of the work on allowing that to happen had yet to be completed.

In particular, the ESM cannot come into effect until the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe decides on whether or not it is compatible with the German constitution. The court will give its ruling on Wednesday 12 September.

Furthermore, the source pointed out, direct recapitalisation of banks by the ESM cannot happen until a new supervisory regime for EU banks is in place.

On Wednesday, the European Commission will launch its proposals for a "single, supervisory mechanism" for European banks, but securing agreement among 17 eurozone members, and the wider EU, will take time.

It is understood the issue of the Anglo-Irish promissory notes is still being discussed between the Commission and the ECB and that the technical work has yet to be completed.

Ireland will benefit from ECB scheme - Honohan

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has said Ireland stands to benefit from the ECB’s decision to buy the bonds of troubled eurozone countries.

Mr Honohan said the measure would remove market doubts about the ECB's willingness to intervene to stabilise the situation.

He said the German Bundesbank, which opposed the move, would in time come to support it.

Professor Honohan said the ECB has shown with the new bond-buying programme that it has the tools to fix the euro crisis and is prepared to use them.

He said Ireland would benefit from the stability of the eurozone and the restoration of a monetary system that is common across Europe.

Professor Honohan said this would be better than what he called the "discrepancy of interest rates and monetary conditions that has existed over the past year".