PRICES rose by 1.2pc in the year to December, according to the Central Statistics Office this morning.
Health insurance, education costs and transport price rises were blamed for the hike in inflation.
Other items adding to price pressures for households included increases in the prices of alcohol and tobacco, due to tax rises in the Budget.
Wine was hit hard in last month’s budget with an additional €1 imposed on a bottle.
The price of a pint went up 10pc, with cigarettes going up by the same amount in the budget.
Prices in hotels and restaurants also rose last month, even though there is stiff competition in the sector.
Last month’s overall price rise was despite falls in the costs of furnishings, household equipment and housing and electricity charges.
There was a slight rise in inflation in December when compared with November.