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Released: Brian Lenihan’s letter where Ireland asks for a bailout

The Department of Finance has released the letter of November 21, 2010 where Brian Lenihan says: ‘We need help.’

Brian Lenihan speaks to Olli Rehn in September 2010. Less than three months later Ireland had stopped issuing bonds and had entered an EU-IMF bailout.
Brian Lenihan speaks to Olli Rehn in September 2010. Less than three months later Ireland had stopped issuing bonds and had entered an EU-IMF bailout.
Image: Virginia Mayo/AP

THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE has released the letter in which Brian Lenihan acknowledges that Ireland can no longer command the confidence of international investors – and formally asks for an EU-IMF bailout.

The letter, originally requested by TheJournal.ie and several others under Freedom of Information legislation last year, was withheld last year due to legal provisions within Freedom of Information laws surrounding negotiations with international bodies.

The document has now been released by the European Central Bank, however, in response to similar requests made to them by Gavin Sheridan of TheStory.ie – meaning there was now no reason for the letter to be withheld.

The terse, one-page letter simply sees Lenihan write “to formally apply for financial assistance in the context of a joint EU-IMF programme”.

“The external assistance sought is made under the terms of the European Financial Stability Mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility, and the IMF assistance programme,” Lenihan wrote.

Among other correspondence released to TheJournal.ie today is a three-page letter from Lenihan to the then-ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet – seemingly in response to an infamous letter where the ECB threatened to cut its support for Irish banks.

Read: We asked for copies of the ECB’s letters to Brian Lenihan. Here’s what happened

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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