Government officials are refusing to comment on reports that the Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
A spokesperson for Mr Lenihan said he is enjoying Christmas with his family and will not be making any comment until the New Year.
Indications that Mr Lenihan may have a serious illness began to circulate last week after the minsiter was unable to attend the Dáil after he was brought to hospital for a hernia operation
Shortly after that news began to travel that the minister might be seriously ill.
Last night it was reported that doctors discovered a malignant tumour and diagnosed Brian Lenihan with pancreatic cancer.
A Government spokesperson also said the minister's health affairs were a personal matter.