Stephen asked the Minister for Finance, with regard to the treaty establishing the European stability mechanism:

if it is the case that recital 5 of the treaty, as a recital, has lesser legal standing than the body of the treaty, comprising the articles.

if it is the case that Article three of the treaty establishing the European stability mechanism, which states, inter alia, that the purpose of the ESM shall be to mobilise funding and provide stability support, to member, if indispensable to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and of its member states, would take precedence over recital five in any conflict over the interpretation of the treaty. (Ref No: 22011/12)

if it is the case that the greater legal status of article three then recital five would mean that, if Ireland needed to draw on the ESM for funding after the end of the current Troika programme, the ESM would be unable, or unlikely, to refuse it, as this would likely undermine the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and of its member States, in contravention of article three. (Ref No: 22012/12)

Minister for Finance ( Mr Noonan) :

It is the intention of the State to ratify the Stability Treaty (assuming its acceptance by the People in referendum on 31st May) and to ratify the ESM Treaty (assuming its approval by the Oireachtas in primary legislation).  It is not the intention of the Government to rely on any interpretation of the articles in the operative part of the European Stability Mechanism Treaty as being in conflict with or taking precedence over any recital in the preambles including recital number 5 as referred to in your questions.  While it is a question for the ESM to decide whether to fund a particular applicant for financial assistance under the terms of the ESM, both Treaties make it clear that only countries that ratify the Stability Treaty will have access to the ESM from March 2013.