Ireland may ask its European partners to take a stake in Allied Irish Banks to help take on the burden of supporting the country's struggling banking sector, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Friday.

Dublin is in talks with European partners to cut the cost of financing the country's bank bailout, which has seen nearly 63 billion euros (54 billion pounds) in state funds poured into five lenders.

If they wanted to help they could take equity in AIB for example, Noonan told journalists in Dublin after releasing a four-year fiscal plan.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Holmes)