Irish government seeks bailout loan
Brian Lenihan is to ask the Irish government to apply for a bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe.
The Finance Minister confirmed he will ask Cabinet colleagues to agree to the unprecedented financial rescue.
"I will be proposing to my colleagues that we should formally apply for a programme," the minister told State broadcaster RTE Radio.
Mr Lenihan refused to disclose how much money the country would be looking for.
At present Ireland is spending 19 billion euro more than it receives in taxes and revenues but the crisis-hit banks also need a massive injection of back-up funds.
An IMF-European bailout is expected to run to tens of billions.
Mr Lenihan said: "I believe that it is important that this state continues to fund itself in a stable way, that economic continuity is preserved, that there is no danger to the borrowing which the state requires to make in its own interest.
"And also and above all, and the issue that has been highlighted this week, that our banking sector is stabilised.
"For all those reasons I will be recommending to the Government that we should apply to a programme and open formal negotiations."