Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said the Government is "determined" to secure a deal on Anglo promissory notes before the end of March.

However he declined to say whether or not the Government would refuse to pay the €3.1bn instalment unilaterally or whether it would have to be part of an agreement with the ECB.

"The Government didn't pay the promissory note last year and we made it very clear we are determined to have a resolution of that issue by the time it's due for payment in March.

"We made a decision last year that it would not be paid - that was agreed with the ECB. It is our intention to have that issue resolved by the time it is due for payment in March," he said.

Mr Gilmore was speaking in Brussels following a meeting with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy ahead of an EU summit this week.

He said he agreed with Mr Van Rompuy that the modalities of using the permanent EU bailout fund, the ESM, to recapitalise European banks should be agreed by March.

This is an issue which will fall to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan who, under the Irish presidency, will be chairing meetings of EU finance ministers.

It is also of key interest to Ireland since the government hopes that the ESM will be able to alleviate the burden of Ireland's legacy bank debt.

Although the ESM cannot directly recapitalise banks in a way which removes the burden from the sovereign until a Europe-wide banking supervisory system is up and running, officials hope that the mechanism by which the ESM could get involved will at least be "clear" by March.

However officials admit that the direct involvement of the ESM in banks, either through recapitalisation or equity stakes, will take much longer.

Other parts of a new EU banking union will include a bank resolution scheme, whereby failing banks could be wound up without taxpayers taking a hit, and a deposit guarantee scheme, which would see an EU-wide fund provide a backstop to protect depositers.

Both of these elements are, however, controversial and are meeting resistance from Germany and others.

In October EU leaders said the framework of a so-called Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) should be in place by 1 January.

The ECB is expected to take on the role of a Eurozone-wide banking supervisor.

Despite indications that the deadline will be missed because of disagreements over how the SSM would work and how many banks the new supervisor should oversee, Mr Gilmore said he hoped that clarity would be reached by the end of the summit this week.

This, he said, had clear implications for Ireland's bank debt.

"There is a clear commitment to examine the Irish debt situation. That remains in place. We have to put in place the architecture that will make that happen," he said.

The Tánaiste said the Government was confident that Ireland would return to the international markets "by the end of next year".