42 percent rise in Irish Secret Service budget

The Irish secret service budget gets a 42 percent boost next year, even as budgets for other government departments are slashed.

The new budget sees the allowance, presumably for Ireland’s spies, rise from €702,000 to an even €1,000,000 (and isn’t it odd how hard it is not to say “one, million, euro” in a Dr Evil voice?)

The figures are revealed in the government estimates for 2011, published by the department of finance on their website on Friday evening.

A call to the department asking what the Secret Service did, and what they intended to spent their extra funds on, elicited the reply: “We never comment on the Secret Service.”

So it seems James O’Bond will remain undercover for the foreseeable future.

However, the spokesperson confirmed that the fund is separate to the Garda budget, and so would not be included in the amounts set aside by the Crime & Security branch, the section of the force dedicated to counter-terrorism.

Freedom of Information legislation does not apply to An Garda Síochána as it does to many other police forces, so it is not known how much of the €1.3 billion under the control of the Garda commissioner is spent on counter-terrorism.