Nineteen hotels in Dublin each received payments in excess of €1m last year to provide emergency accommodation for the homeless.
One hotel received payments between €4m and €5m, according to new figures provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) which confirmed spending on providing temporary and emergency accommodation for the homeless soared by 19pc to €170m in 2019.
In the four years since 2016, hoteliers have received cumulative payments totalling €203.5m as the number of homeless requiring emergency accommodation soared.
Last year, hotels received payments from the DRHE totalling €56.6m to provide emergency accommodation. This represented an increase of 10.7pc on the €51.1m paid out in 2018.
A breakdown of the €170m spend on providing emergency accommodation for the homeless shows that €80.16m was paid to hotels and B&Bs.
The 19 hotels to receive in excess of €1m last year compared with 15 hotels receiving payments above this amount in 2018.
In response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the DRHE confirmed that one other hotel operator last year received payments between €3m and €4m to accommodate the homeless.
A further four hotels received payments between €2m and €3m with an additional 13 hotels receiving payments between €1m and €2m.
Another 21 hotels received payments between €500,000 and €1m.
In total, 70 hotels provided emergency accommodation for the homeless last year.
The sharp increase in payments to emergency accommodation providers came against the background of further increases in the numbers of homeless in Dublin in 2019.
The numbers of homeless accommodated in hotels and B&Bs increased from 2,422, made up of 1,488 children and 934 adults, in January 2019 to 2,638 at the end of December, made up of 1,633 children and 1,005 adults.
Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn described the spend as an "absolute disgrace".
He said the business of accommodating the homeless is a "big cash cow" for the hotels concerned.
Mr Flynn said the homeless being accommodated have had their status reduced to 'non-citizens' and 'ghost people'.
The DRHE declined to name the hotels and B&Bs which have received payment.
The FoI unit said: "I am satisfied that the financial and commercial interest of the emergency accommodation providers would be negatively impacted by the released of this information."
It said it was satisfied the release of this information would have a significant adverse impact on the management of the DRHE.
It also said that the release of such records would breach the confidentiality of providers.