Irish Water paid €3.7milllion to consultants in just six months of this year, it was revealed yesterday.
The greatest amount – €740,000 – went to A&L Goodbody for legal services wile another law firm, McCann Fitzgerald was paid €217,000.
Accountants Ernst and Young Ireland were also in the money receiving €470,000 between March and August while accountancy and consulting firm KPMG was paid €120,000 in the same period.
The latest figures received under the Freedom of Information Act shows that around 50 payments were made to A&L Goodbody in the period from March to August.
Advice on price control cost Irish Water almost €315,000 with nearly €200,000 going to ICS Consulting and around €115,000 was paid to ELM Consulting and Solutions.
An Irish Water spokeswomen said: “Irish Water is a large public utility with a significant customer, contract and asset base, and therefore it regularly requires third-party legal expertise to advise us or to act on our behalf in carrying out our normal business.
“We operate hundreds of contracts and at any time may require legal advice on issues ranging from land acquisition to asset transfer to CPOs to property leases to environmental issues or litigation.”
A number of political parties, including Fianna Fail have pledged to abolish Irish Water if they gain power after the general election but a leading think tank publicpolicy.ie has claimed such a move would be disastrous.