OPPOSITION TDS HAVE criticised the Taoiseach’s Department for spending just over €30,000 on photography in the past year.
Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins said that the figure was far too high and accused the government of being engaged in “spin over substance”.
However the Taoiseach noted that the spending was down by over €50,000 since 2008 when €83,398 was spent on photography in one year by the Department of the Taoiseach.
He also said that major events such as the visit by President Barack Obama in 2011 contributed to the total cost of €30,629.
Niall Collins, speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, said that the decreased cost was “no defence”.
Answering the question in the Dáil yesterday, Enda Kenny said that the department increasingly uses its own staff to take photographs rather than paying for professional photographers, which has helped to cut down costs.
He told the Dáil: “We have tried to reduce photography costs by having in-house photography done by staff, except in the case of formal State visits and high level opportunities”.
The most spent on photography in any month in the last year was June 2011 when €14,051 was spent. No money at all was spent on photography in April and October last year or in January of this year.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who asked the Taoiseach about the spending in the Dáil, told Enda Kenny: “The Taoiseach looked resplendent in all the photographs. My compliments to the photographer”.