OPW’s €215,000 bill for gardening and pest control at Áras an Uachtaráin

The Office of Public Works has spent more than €215,000 on gardening and pest control at the President’s Áras an Uachtaráin residence over the past three years.

Details of pest control reports from the Áras reveal a litany of problems with rats, mice, and crawling insects across the sprawling estate in the Phoenix Park.

A wasp nest was also found in the attic space of the “private quarters” of the Áras, according to inspection reports released by the OPW.

The records also detail how a motion sensor camera was to be installed in the kitchens after an elusive rodent was spotted on a number of different occasions.

The data was released following a request made using the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations.

The Office of Public Works had originally refused to release the reports saying the President was excluded from the scope of the AIE regulations in the same way as that office was excluded from Freedom of Information legislation.

The OPW said they had a duty of care to the President and that providing the information might have “generated negative media coverage”.

However, the Commissioner for Environmental Information found the records were held by the OPW and that there was no exemption for records they held relating to the Áras through the AIE Regulations.