TAOISEACH Enda Kenny hailed the new EU budget as "a good deal for Ireland" as he emerged with farm grants shielded from any extra cuts.
Mr Kenny laughed off the complaints from farming bodies about the relatively small reductions in the funding under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Leading MEPs are threatening to try to block the deal agreed by leaders after 20 hours of negotiations that went through the night.
Mr Kenny came away with no additional cuts to the CAP, apart from the small reductions already on the table from last year, despite pressure for further austerity measures.
Under the new deal, which will last until the end of the decade, farm payments to Ireland will reduce from €1.6bn per annum to €1.5bn per year.
Although this was regarded as a good outcome considering the current economic circumstances and demands from other EU countries for more funding, farm representatives complained about the cut.
Irish Farmers' Association president John Bryan said farmers will be "disappointed" the funding was reduced. But he also pointed out that Mr Kenny had "worked hard to build alliances" with French president Francois Hollande.
Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association president John Comer said the cuts to funding were "serious" and was critical of what he described as a "complacent acceptance" of the reductions.
Mr Kenny laughed off the criticism, saying the CAP was "strongly protected".
"It is always difficult to have farming organisations say they are entirely satisfied. There is always a traditional reluctance for them to do that," he said.
Ireland is to get an extra €100m in EU funding as part of a special package for countries affected by the economic crisis.
The funding will go to the Border, Midland and Western region under EU structural funds.
EU leaders are currently putting the finishing touches to the overall €1 trillion budget.
The budget also includes another €100m for farmers in Ireland as a result of an allocation for countries facing structural challenges in the agriculture sector.
And the Government will be able to access a new EU-wide €6bn fund to tackle youth unemployment.
The Government also has the difficult task of getting the package through the European Parliament amid threats of a veto.
Labour Party MEP Nessa Childers MEP said the European Parliament was "very willing to veto the bad deal cooked up". "Such reckless cuts to the EU budget could paralyse it for a decade. The crazy policy of collective austerity in Europe must not be extended to the EU budget," she said.
Mr Kenny said he saw the task as a challenge and not the "poisoned chalice" depicted by some leaders.
Following talks that went right through the night, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has declared "deal done" and "worth waiting for".
After 20 hours of meetings and roundtable talks, a €960m package was agreed.
The deal was a compromise between those who wanted cuts, headed by Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands, and those who want it maintained, led by France and Italy.