Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the upcoming referendum on the EU fiscal treaty is more important than a general election.
Mr Kenny made the comments at the launch of a campaign this morning by 76 business organisations in support of the EU Fiscal Stability Treaty.
The Taoiseach is to hold telephone talks this morning with the French President-elect Francois Hollande on the importance of the treaty's contents for Ireland.
This morning he said the impact of the vote at the end of the month is of huge significance.
"The question facing Ireland on May 31is actually more important than a general election because its impact is going to last for a very long time," he said.
"I think it's important to understand that this decision… is our decision.
"(It is) the Irish people's decision alone. It is not any other country, any other nationality, any other people who are voting."
Mr Kenny made his comments at the launch of the 'Business for Ireland' campaign at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
The new group, which is made up of 76 business organisations from across the country, is campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum, saying it is vital to keep Ireland on the path to recovery and ensure economic stability.
The group warned that a No vote would lead to dangerous economic uncertainty and raise questions about the future funding of the state.
"A No vote would be a major setback and undermine the significant efforts that have already been made," said Senator Feargal Quinn, vice president of European retailing body EuroCommerce.
"Ireland is currently on a path to recovery and the Stability Treaty is a further move in the right direction," added Louise Phelan of PayPal.
"Voting Yes will help maintain Ireland's position as an attractive and secure location for investment and ensure we put in place necessary housekeeping rules that will preserve our strategically important place in Europe."