Figures released through the Freedom of Information Act show the €2.665m spend was the highest in recent years driven by the Government’s decision to expand its network of missions globally to 80. The €2.66m spend on refurbishing embassies and ambassadors’ residences last year represents a 14% increase on the €2.34m spend under the same heading in 2014 and a 40% increase on the €1.9m spent in 2013. The high spend in 2015 was also driven by the opening of new missions at Hong Kong (€333,043); Bangkok (€318,562) and Austin, Texas (€213,267). According to a statement accompanying the figures, refurbishment of embassies and residences “becomes necessary over time in order to maintain a suitable representational standard”. The largest single spend last year was at the department’s permanent representation for the EU at Brussels totalling €387,143.
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