The Department of Agriculture spent €6.7m on legal, accountancy and consultant fees in 2022, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has revealed.

Of this figure, it spent €4.9m on consultancy costs. Some €800,000 was paid in fees to Climate KIC Holding.

It describes itself on its website as “a knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient society”.

The Department also paid Malachy Walsh and Partners €406,873, plus €447,579 to Doran Consulting.

On the other end of the scale, it paid €3,052 in consultant fees to Foróige, €24,850 to Irish Rural Link and €1,304 to Vanessa Woods.

Legal fees

In total last year, the Department spent €1m on legal fees, with the vast majority of this money going to MacGuill & Co Solicitors. The Department paid the firm €929,542 last year.

Some €54,630 was given to the State Claims Agency, while €10,600 was received by Jack Hazlett.

The remaining legal fees were paid to Louis Masterson (documentary counsel), Devina Brady (documentary counsel) and Beauchamps LLP, which were paid €8,610, €8,610 and €8,387 respectively.

Accountancy costs totaled €770,192 last year, with the Department using two firms.

Ernest & Young received €710,229 in fees, while Bagnall Accountants received €59,963.

The data was revealed in a parliamentary question by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik.