HEALTH Minister James Reilly has defended the way National Lottery money is distributed following reports that his constituency received a "lavish" share of the fund.
Dr Reilly said that all projects approved for lottery funding in his department received money on the basis of the important work they did.
He was commenting following revelations that 12 out of 140 organisations that received lottery funding from the Department of Health last year were in Dr Reilly's constituency.
According to a report, Dr Reilly's constituency received €195,030 in 2012.
Other constituencies got a "fraction" of that sum, with the lowest being Longford-Westmeath, with just €5,500.
In 2010, before he was made a minister, Dublin North got just €10,000 of National Lottery funding from the Health Department. A year later, after his appointment, the constituency received €228,500.
Dr Reilly said: "The funding is not provided to contribute to day-to-day funding. The distribution of funding is related to organisations being ready to make certain investments and applying on that basis."