The Taoiseach and Finance Minister have ruled out a second bailout after a Cabinet colleague raised fears the country will struggle to return to the international money markets.
Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan said the country had enough cash from Europe and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and there was no question of another rescue deal.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had speculated the country may need another international loan as it might not be able to borrow from the bond markets next year.
But the Taoiseach said: “There will be no need for a second bailout. Ireland is involved in a bailout deal with the IMF/EU/ECB.
“The first review of that has taken place and Ireland has measured up and are meeting the conditions in respect of that.
“The bailout programme runs to the end of 2013 and Ireland has sufficient money in all circumstances to deal with that.”
Mr Noonan echoed the Taoiseach’s remarks and said he hoped the country could tap into the markets by the end of next year, although not fully.
He added: “But these things can change. Things are changing in Europe very, very quickly now.”
A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said his comments reported in The Sunday Times were a “hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question” and were made in the context of funding for transport projects.
Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan said the country must stick with the EU/IMF deal if it is to return to the markets.
But he would not be drawn on whether Mr Varadkar’s comments were damaging for the country.
“It’s always very hard to tell how statements will be interpreted,” he said.
“I think the nervous international environment is undoubtedly affecting confidence about Ireland and other countries that have stressed financial situations.
“There’s no doubt about that.”
As fears heighten that Greece may default on its debt, Mr Noonan stressed that Ireland’s economy was entirely different.
“There are no similarities except for the fact that we’re both in separate EU programmes,” he said.
Mr Noonan said there is little trade between the two countries and Irish banks have no involvement with their Greek counterparts.