According to the 2019 Report on the Accounts of the Public Services, €9,302 had been spent in one prison between 2018 and 2019 to purchase food items such as "fillet steaks, rib roasts, boneless legs of lamb, prosciutto and expensive catering chocolate".
The report states that food is purchased by Irish prisons for home economics classes, which involve cooking meals, but the types of foods purchased are generally in line with foods used in the preparation of prison meals.
Although some food items outside of what is normally served to prisoners can be ordered for the cooking classes, "it is not Prison Service policy that high value items should be used in any prison kitchens or classrooms," the report states.
The Governor of the prison in question has commenced an investigation, including whether the foods were used only for the purposes of the cooking classes or if there were official events catered for using the foods.
Additional national controls regarding the order of food items have now been imposed according to the accounting officer.