The Irish government are spending over a hundred million dollars annually on asylum seekers – including thousands of dollars on diapers for their children.

Over 5,000 asylum seekers are currently in the care of the Irish authorities as they seek a new life in Ireland.

A new report states that the $100 million cost of processing their applications includes a payment for diapers.

They are listed as a miscellaneous cost of housing the 5,000-plus people looking for shelter in Ireland according to the Irish Sun newspaper.

Ireland’s justice minister Alan Shatter has defended the payments and said his officials are ‘fully entitled’ to authorise the expenditure.

“The procurement process was subject to scrutiny in the Value For Money review,” insisted Minister Shatter.

“In relation to the services contracted by RIA, such as food, accommodation and ancillary services, these, by definition, have to be provided in Ireland.

“Our review has confirmed the unique challenges in looking after asylum seekers and refugees.”

Accommodation costs amounted for the majority of the $100million spent on asylum seekers in 2011.

A staggering $80million was paid out to 37 privately owned centres housing refugees, seven of which have since closed.

Two commercially owned self-catering hostels and seven state-owned facilities also house refugees at a cost to the Irish state.

Shatter claims the costs will drop by eight per cent in 2012.

His department has reported that the number seeking refugee status dropped from a high of 10,038 in 2000 to just to 1,290 in 2011.

Only 239 people applied during the first three months of 2012. There are currently 5,169 asylum seekers in Ireland, a thousand fewer than in 2010.

Nigerians make up the biggest number, followed by refugees from Pakistan, China, Democratic Republic of Congo and war-torn Afghanistan.

Minister Shatter has signed 1,500 deportation orders in the past 14 months but just over 300 people have actually been sent home.