The Government has rejected calls for Ireland to refuse to pay the next instalment of the promissory notes, due at the end of March.

The calls were made in the Dáil by Independent TDs, who claimed it was time the burden was shared across the eurozone, instead of by Ireland alone.

However, Minister of State Brian Hayes said that refusing to pay would signal default, with disastrous consequences for the economy. 

Dublin South TD Shane Ross urged the Government to do a "u-turn" in its negotations on the promissory notes, and tell Europe Ireland cannot and will not pay the €3.1bn

Deputy Ross said the Government was not even looking for a write off, but was instead planning to "extend and pretend".

The Dáil is debating a Private Members' motion on the issue tonight and tomorrow.

The group claims the Government's negotiating strategy on the issue is in imminent danger of leading to humiliation.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said voting for the bank guarantee was "the biggest mistake of my life".

He told the Dáil debate that the advice given to him by then finance minister Brian Lenihan on the issue was a "disgrace".