herald

Friday 14 December 2018

Foreign office gets through more than €10,000 of booze

White wine is most popular
White wine is most popular

The Department of Foreign Affairs forked out more than €10,000 on alcohol last year.

Figures released to the Herald reveal that most of the money was spent on wine, with just €339 spent on beer and spirits.

When it comes to which wine is more popular, it seems that white wine wins hands down.

Overall, 360 bottles of red and 490 bottles of white were bought last year. The average price was €11.44.

Priorities

"At the most recent stock-take, a total of 1,305 bottles of wine were in store," said a department spokesperson.

Nearly 180 functions were held at Iveagh House last year. A further six were held at Farmleigh in Phoenix Park.

"These events support a broad range of government priorities, such as the advancement of reconciliation and co-operation on this island, the promotion of Ireland's values and priorities on global themes, the promotion of Ireland's bilateral relations including political and economic interests, and cultural events, with an international dimension," said the spokesperson.

In 2017, some €10,069 was spent on maintaining stocks.

The department said it maintains a "limited stock of wine bought at a significant discount, relative to the cost of buying it from caterers on an ad-hoc basis.

"Stocks are procured with due regard to the need to ensure value for money and appropriate quality and fitness for purpose.

"In line with all expenditure practices of this department, the purchase of new stock is assessed carefully, and kept under continuing review to ensure value for money," the department said.

"The mission of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to serve the Irish people, promote their values and advance their prosperity and interests abroad, and to provide the Government with the capabilities, analysis and influence to ensure that Ireland derives the maximum benefit from all areas of its external engagement.

"The department, both at HQ and abroad, frequently hosts events to advance these priorities. Such events also provide an opportunity to highlight to guests, in particular those from overseas, the quality of fresh food and produce," it added.

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