Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin has confirmed for the first time that Ireland wishes to re-schedule its debt under the EU/IMF rescue deal.
He told Reuters news agency that Ireland will not accept less favourable treatment than other bailed-out countries.
The comments are the first indication from the Government that Ireland's debt levels are unmanageable, and should be paid off over a longer timeframe.
Minister Howlin said Ireland wanted a better interest rate and longer term liquidity for the banks.
UL economics lecturer Stephen Kinsella said there now appeared to be a clear intention to get a more manageable deal for Ireland.
"The idea will be that it will be extended out into the future. The interest payment from the Irish Government will have to drop to a manageable level," he said.