Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was quoted today as saying he plans to stand for re-election to the Dáil in 2016.

Mr Noonan, 70, has led renegotiations of key parts of Ireland's EU/IMF bailout, which is due to be completed in December, and introduced his third austerity Budget this week.

"My plan is to stand again, and we will see what the fortunes of politics are then," Mr Noonan told the Limerick Leader in an interview.

"My intention is to carry on as long as the Taoiseach wants me to carry on as Minister for Finance and shortly before the election I will make a public announcement as to whether I am standing again or not. But at the moment it is my intention to stand again."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny intends to reshuffle his Cabinet next year.

Analysts see Mr Noonan as a near certainty to keep his position after a sure-footed two-and-a-half years in charge of the economy.