Ryanair has said that the government has no power to block its bid for a majority stake in Aer Lingus.
The government today rejected the airline's offer to buy its 25% stake in the national carrier.
In a statement, Ryanair - which currently owns 30% of Aer Lingus - said it can still proceed with its bid for the airline.
However, Ryanair's offer is subject to the outcome of an EU competition review, which is ongoing.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said that the coalition believes selling the Aer Lingus stake to the low fares airline would be a bad deal for Ireland: