A crackdown on social welfare fraud netted over €500 million in the first 8 months of the year.
It follows efforts from a Special Investigations Unit at the Department of Social Protection as well as the general staff at the Department who have been trained to spot suspected cases.
The cases of fraud were uncovered during an investigation of more than 900,000 social welfare payments made up to the end of August.
Officials were already ahead of their yearly target of 780,000 inspections at that stage.
Total saving could be €645 million
By the end of August over 1,300 employers and businesses had also been checked to ensure fraud was not occurring.
The work resulted in savings of €501 million and the expectation now is that the end of year total could reach €645 million.
€21 billion was spent on social welfare payments last year which amounts to 40% of government expenditure.