Anglo Irish Bank, the go-to bank for Irish developers in the midst of the country's property boom Irish bank, will be shut down under a 20-year plan revealed today.

This means that up to $29.7 billion of taxpayers' money will never be recovered.

Anglo wants a 20-year wind-down as part of a revised restructuring plan.

Last month, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said he "could not countenance" closing the bank.

"I understand why many want us to close this bank. But I cannot, as Minister for Finance, countenance such a course of action," he said.

However, it now appears that the bank will indeed be closed.

Taxpayers have already bailed Anglo out to the tune of $16.4 billion, and they are unlikely to get that back.

Economists fear that this closure will put depositors and wholesale funders off doing business.

Opposition party leader Enda Kenny has accused Lenihan of a u-turn on the bank.

Kenny said Lenihan's position has clearly shifted in the past four weeks.

However, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Mary Coughlan insisted that government policy had not changed on the now state-owned bank.