The Irish government has confirmed it will not sell its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus to Ryanair.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said that selling to Ryanair was not in the best interest of competition, connectivity, and employment.

Ryanair is Aer Lingus’ biggest shareholder with a 30 percent stake.

"The Ryanair offer and at least the remedies that are being reported are not sufficient in our view, so we won't support their bid and, in addition, won't co-operate with their remedies package," Minister Varadkar told journalists on Tuesday.

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He said the government remains committed to the sale of its share, at the right time and in the right conditions, and that advisers will be appointed in the New Year.

The government’s announcement effectively stops Ryanair’s takeover bid.

The European commission blocked Ryanair's previous bid for the company on anti- competitive grounds. It is currently reviewing the latest offer by the Michael O’Leary led airline.

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In response Ryanair said in a statement that it can still proceed with its bid for the airline

Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of RyanairTop News