Part of foreign-aid budget used to buy wine, cutlery

Some of Ireland's €623m in foreign aid has been spent on chauffeur uniforms, swimming pools, cutlery, wine and a flagpole.

The Sunday Independent revealed the figures, which were designed to be spent on improving the lives of poor people in developing countries.

Documents obtained by the Sunday Independent under the Freedom of Information Act, detail spending by Eamon Gilmore's Department of Foreign Affairs for last year.

It was revealed that the taxpayer spent €517 to replace a "swimming pool pump" for the ambassador's residence in Uganda in October.

Last February, €1,312 in Irish aid was used to pay for a "flag pole replacement" in Uganda, and in Vietnam, 'New Zealand wine for office purposes' cost €1,813 in August.

Irish aid money was also used to pay €57,241 for mountain bikes for the Ugandan police.

Ireland's €623m foreign aid budget has come under pressure since the recession began.

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