Monday, September 26, 2016
Department of Foreign Affairs wasting €46,000 a month for one of their own
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is “actively seeking” to buy a home for its ambassador to Japan after the disclosure that the State is paying €46,000 a month to rent an apartment in Tokyo.
The ambassador’s residence in Tokyo was more than twice as expensive as any other property rented by the department last year, the Mail on Sunday reported. The outlay on the apartment included access to a spa, swimming pool and gym facilities, a roof garden and a wine and port cellar, it said.
Drawing on documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper said the residence for Ireland’s consul general in New York cost €20,870 while the department paid €20,050 a month on the home of the ambassador to Singapore. Rent on an apartment in Geneva cost €15,925 a month.
In a statement, the department said it always sought to ensure value for money in all its operations, in particular when signing rental agreements. “Precisely because rents are so high in Tokyo the department has been actively engaged in seeking alternatives to renting,” it said.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been reviewing its options in relation to Tokyo with a view to converting rental payments into a long-term asset for Ireland.
Ruadhan Mac Cormac