Irish parliament bar bills to be written off

Pint of stout Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The report did not say how much the written-off bar tabs would cost

Bar bills racked up in Dublin's parliament buildings will be written off because there is "no realistic prospect" of them being paid.

A report by the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish houses of parliament) Commission did not say how much would be written off.

It said the "amount involved was very small in the overall context of the bar and restaurant receipts".

The bars and restaurants involved are regularly used by Irish politicians.

The Houses of the Oireachtas contains a coffee shop, two bars and two restaurants, with a bar and a restaurant reserved for Irish TDs (members of the Irish parliament) and senators (members of the upper house of the Irish parliament).

In a statement, the Houses of the Oireachtas said the "majority of the write-offs were technical and a book-keeping tidy up of the old accounts over many years".

"There was minimal loss to the exchequer. Many of the amounts outstanding were old with no reasonable chance of settling the account," it said.

'Records incomplete'

The commission's report indicated that the audit committee had carried out a "complete retrospective review" of outstanding food and drink bills.

"In the case of certain historical balances, the likelihood of recovery of the sums due was remote.

"A series of efforts had been made to recover the sums due but in some cases it was acknowledged that the records were incomplete.

"Overall there was no realistic prospect of recovery of the sums due."

The report added that the a "revised credit policy" would put a time limit on how long an individual has to pay a food or drink bill.