President's €1m bill for 100-year-olds
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins' office has run up a bill of over a million euro for honouring older citizens.
Some 423 people have been awarded the €2,540 gift and a personal letter from Mr Higgins for reaching the age of 100.
According to the President's office, the Centenarian Bounty was issued to 247 people in the Republic this year and a further 98 in Northern Ireland.
Elsewhere, 48 people in Britain and another 30 overseas who celebrated their 100th birthday have been awarded the gift, bringing the total cost for the year to €1,074,420.
It is one of the highest totals recorded since the bounty was introduced decades ago and dwarfs the figure for last year, when 326 received it.
The bounty was introduced by Douglas Hyde and in 1993 was extended to include all centenarians on the island of Ireland, regardless of their citizenship.
This was again extended in 2006 to include all centenarians worldwide who were born on the island of Ireland.