Eight Gardaí were paid over 50,000 euro each in overtime last year.

According to freedom of information figures, the total Garda overtime bill has increased by almost a third in the past two years.

An Garda Siochána spent just under 130 million euro on overtime for Gardaí and civilian staff last year.

That’s up 16 million from 2021, and is 31 million more than in 2020.

One sergeant got nearly 65,000 euro in overtime last year.

Brendan O’Connor, from the Garda Representative Association, says the total bill is so high because of staff shortages.

“The number of guards is actually falling due to failures to meet recruitment targets and increasing hours of those who are choosing to resign and also the natural wastage from retirements. So you’ve less people trying to deliver the same service.”

Latest figures show there are 14,211 Gardaí in the force.

The government has pledged to increase that to 15,000 and beyond.