The Department of Health spent at least €43,854 on catering for events last year, according to information released to this newspaper.
In addition, €91,784 was spent by the Department on catering for events in 2018. The total for the two years is €135,638.
The figures were released to the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. This newspaper also requested the list of events for which catering was provided, but this information was not included in the response.
A spokesperson for the Department told MI the final figure for 2019 will be higher than €43,854.
“The 2019 figures [in the FoI] relate to costs at that particular time. A number of outstanding costs were yet to be invoiced by the contractor. The final cost cannot be specified until all relevant invoices are presented,” said the spokesperson.
Last year, the Department purchased catering services from 21 firms. The highest amount was spent with Munchies Baggot St Ltd (€9,785). This was followed by O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bar (€9,130). Some €5,517 was spent with Apleona HSG Ltd and €4,636 with Egan Hospitality. The Department spent €1,867 with Sambara Limited.
In 2018, some 19 firms were paid by the Department to provide catering services at events. The highest amounts were paid to O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bar (€29,601) and Brambles Deli Café Ltd (€22,268).