"I think that figure was inaccurate. And it was unfortunate because it did scare a hell of a lot of people," Ryan said.
He declined to speculate what the average interest rate would be, but said it would be nearer the 5.2 percent average being paid by Greece for its euro110 billion ($150 billion) EU-IMF bailout in May.
Ryan said whatever terms were agreed "have to make sense for us, so that we're able to pay it back."
A second government minister, Noel Dempsey, sounded less confident of any announcement Sunday.
"Our mandate is to get the very best deal, one that will allow us to get out of the present situation," said Dempsey, the transport minister. "It's more important to get it right than to get it quick. ... Let's just wait and see what the deal is."
Their comments came as more than 15,000 people marched to Dublin's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, to denounce the imminent bailout as a disastrous deal for Ireland.
The protest, organized by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, also highlighted fears that Ireland's next emergency budget could drive thousands into poverty or bankruptcy. The 2011 budget being unveiled Dec. 7 includes €4.5 billion in cuts and €1.5 billion in new taxes — the fourth emergency budget in three years designed to reverse Ireland's runaway deficits.
It was the first significant protest since the International Monetary Fund and European banking experts descended on Dublin last week. But the turnout was much poorer than the 50,000 that police expected and organizers claimed. Some blamed the unusually wintry weather, others a national tendency to endure or emigrate from tough times rather than fight them.
The protesters — led by commentator Fintan O'Toole and folk singers on a podium in front of the General Post Office, headquarters of Ireland's 1916 rebellion against British rule — called for Ireland to default on its debts to international banks, just as Iceland and Argentina had done.
O'Toole said Prime Minister Brian Cowen had "no mandate" to negotiate a bailout with EU and IMF officials "who nobody elected."
O'Toole — whose recent book "Ship of Fools" documents how Ireland's government, bankers and speculators combined to sink the country's Celtic Tiger economy — accused Cowen of "expecting us to behave ourselves and pay off the gambling debts of our masters."