(Alert corrected to say .. Dec vs Nov .., not.. Dec vs Jan)
DUBLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Irish house prices fell for the second time in three months in December, dropping 0.5 percent month-on-month and suggesting that any stabilisation in the property market will be gradual.
Average residential property prices had risen in four of the five previous months, narrowing the annual rate of decline to 4.5 percent in December from 16.7 percent a year earlier, data from the central statistics office showed.
The huge property bubble that burst in 2008 forced the Irish government to plough 64 billion euros ($85 billion) into its banks and left tens of thousands of construction workers unemployed and a generation of mortgage holders deep in debt. ($1 = 0.7510 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Hugh Lawson)