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Please save us: Lenihan's letter begging for bailout

THIS is the letter in which Brian Lenihan waved the white flag and asked the Troika to save us.

With just three short paragraphs Ireland was condemned to years of austerity under the EU/IMF bailout.

The letter -- written on November 21, 2010 but released for the first time today -- was sent to the now disgraced IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn and ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet.

Lenihan, who was Finance Minister at the time, promised to "cooperate fully in the joint EU-IMF programme of assistance to the Irish State that will now be required and developed".

In a second letter, Mr Lenihan thanks Mr Trichet for advice given "personally and courteously in recent days".

The country is still struggling under the weight of cuts needed under the bailout as the government prepares for our sixth austerity budget in December.