A major clampdown on child benefits has seen payments to more than 7,000 non-nationals cancelled.
In excess of half a billion euro has been given to non-Irish families in the past two years.
But the Department of Social and Family Affairs has undertaken a serious review in the past year to control against fraud and abuse of the scheme.
Around 70,000 letters have been issued from the department to non-Irish national since November last year.
Some 13,713 claimants did not reply within 21 days, and as a result 3,629 have had their claims terminated.
The Herald has learned that in excess of €4bn was paid out in child benefit between 2006 and 2007. Of that figure almost €600m was handed out to non-Irish nationals, some of whom do not even have children living here. One-in-seven recipients of child benefit was not born in Ireland.