The Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring  warned his Cabinet colleagues not to treat his department as a “soft touch” for projects that come under their responsibility.

He also accused local authorities of failing to spend the 2018 Clar funding that his department provided.

In an outburst during question time on rural and community affairs in the Dáil, Mr Ring said other government departments had their own “programmes and schemes and they have their own money. I have to make them accountable as well.”

According to the Irish Times, Minister Ring came under pressure from Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary about the need to use regional funding for infrastructural projects and long-term developments.

 Deputy Calleary pointed out that a quarter of the 2018 Clár budget is still unspent.

But Minister Ring insisted that he had spent all the 2018 funding, and the problem was with the local authorities who had not spent the money they received.