The latest data shows that Anglo Irish Bank and other lenders had borrowed €51bn (£43bn) from the Irish central bank by the end of December, under an obscure progamme listed in the balance sheet as "other assets".
This comes on top of €132bn in loans from the ECB itself, the figure normally tracked by analysts and itself 24pc of all ECB lending.
"This is a horror story: it shows the cataclysmic condition of the Irish banking system," said Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. "The banks have borrowed €183bn in total, or 110pc of Irish GDP. They have burned through all their capital and a lot of their deposits as well. This is going to end up on the national debt".
The actions of the Irish central bank are authorised by Frankfurt, but fall into a grey area of monetary policy since they appear to involve creation of money outside the normal control of the ECB's governing council.