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Newsline: Ireland’s embassy in Japan spent over €80,000 on posh hotels and restaurants

Ireland’s embassy in Japan has spent more than €80,000 on official engagements held in upmarket restaurants and hotels since March 2015. Ireland’s Tokyo delegation is also paying €46,000 a month to rent a residence, including a large function room. The State employs two live-in staff at the embassy, to provide catering and facilities-management services for functions at the exclusive residence. Some 70 events have been hosted there since 2015. The cost of renting the residence has been defended by the Department of Foreign Affairs — on the basis the premises includes a 302sqm function area. However, records released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a number of high-class restaurants were used on 35 occasions at an additional cost of around €82,000. The Department of Foreign Affairs has said the official accommodation in Tokyo can host 120 guests, adding: “Alternative venues are required where the guest numbers exceed 120.” In the case of six of the 35 engagements held outside, the Department said that the residence was unavailable due to preparation being undertaken for other events.



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