GOVERNMENT FIGURES show that the state’s spending on security at the private homes and constituency offices of government ministers has fallen to zero.
Details published by the Department of Finance show that while the government has spent just over €1.5 million installing security features at the homes and offices of the Taoiseach, ministers and junior ministers since the year 2000, there has been no such spending for three years now.
Spending on the installation of security features peaked at €325,833 in 2009, but came in at zero for each of 2010 and 2011, according to figures requested by Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald.
There was also no such spending in the years 2001 or 2002, but had climbed to €245,845 in 2005, and peaked in 2009.
In all, €1,506,461 has been spent installing security features at ministers’ homes since the year 2000.
The figures relate only to the installation of security features, as the costs of offering Garda observation for their properties would form part of the usual Garda budget.
Security on ministers’ homes has been relaxed since the advance in the peace process in Northern Ireland, but was called into focus again earlier this year when the private home of justice minister Alan Shatter was burgled while the minister was away for St Patrick’s Day.