A HSE recruitment campaign, succeeded in only enticing 88 Irish nurses home from the UK, and cost €250,000, it emerged yesterday.
The 'Bring Them Home' campaign was aimed at attracting 500 of the 7,500 nurses who emigrated to the UK in recent years back to Irish hospitals.
However, the full expense has only now emerged. It included paying €198,000 to recruitment agencies but failed to deliver a substantial number of candidates to hospitals which are desperate to fill nursing vacancies.
In a parliamentary response to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, Audrey Doyle, a HSE official in the human resources division, said advertising, as well as the design and build costs of a microsite, cost the campaign around €44,200.
The campaign, which was launched in June 2015, is "ongoing".