THE state has spent more than €6.8m during the past five years on flights to send failed asylum-seekers back to their home countries.
However, although the number of deportations has continually fallen, the cost of repatriation rose in 2008, with a total of €920,000 spent last year.
The average cost of each deportation – over half of which involved a transfer to another EU state – is now running in the order of €2,500.
The Department of Justice said that a total of 433 people were removed from the state last year, the majority to other European countries.
Figures show that just 162 people were actually removed to their country of origin, mainly aboard large-scale deportation charters to Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
Another 271 people were escorted from the country to other EU states after it was found they had already made an asylum application prior to arriving in Ireland.