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DUBLIN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Ireland's debt agency purchased 500 million euros of Irish government bonds from the central bank and canceled them on Tuesday, bringing to 3 billion euros the total canceled this year as part of an agreement to ease the state's debt burden.
Ireland struck a deal with the European Central Bank in 2013 to stretch out the cost of liquidating the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank by pledging to slowly feed new bonds worth 25 billion euros into the market via the central bank.
Last year, the central bank offloaded four times the minimum 500 million euros of bonds it was obliged to sell and analysts have said a continued speeding up the timetable would help ease the pressure on Ireland potentially falling out of the ECB's quantitative easing stimulus programme.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Angus MacSwan