The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hit back at criticism about Ireland's global aid spending.
Comedian Tommy Tiernan has claimed Ireland is not giving enough for global development aid, and has failed to reach the promise of donating 0.7% of Gross National Income.
In a tweet, Tiernan said Ireland has the money and could address global issues if they really wanted to.
He said: "This is what they do, they bamboozle the public with numbers and figures and charts, the truth behind these statistics is that it’s not enough money and they know it's not.
"They could give what's needed if they wanted, they could address global food structures at the U.N.
"If they wanted, they could address crop dependency and market interference if they wanted. They don't."
Tiernan added: "The money is there, the Fine Gael government first promised in 1974 to give 0.7% of GNI in Overseas Development Hunger.. we're still waiting and a child will die today of hunger."
A statement from Tommy Tiernan in response to Simon Coveney TD - Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence pic.twitter.com/6BwFg9PS6T
— Tommy Tiernan (@Tommedian) September 22, 2022
Speaking in New York, Mr Martin said Ireland is one of the stronger countries on this.
"I think Ireland is very committed to changing the structural issues around food poverty.
"Ireland's been one of the stronger countries now, historically, on nutrition and global food programmes.
"I think the approach that I would take - and we will be increasing the aid, and we have.
"Ireland is seen as positively across the developing world as a country that is serious - not just in terms of financial allocation, but in terms of how best to change systems: from governance, from women in conflict, it terms of resourcing those areas.
"And sometimes that's not well received in recipient countries in terms of the governance questions, which I think have to come more and more into the reckoning now - in terms of when we allocate funding and so on.
"We do want to see improvements in governance, we do want to see women treated better in terms of conflict situations, in terms of education.
"I would say there's always room for improvement of course, but the idea that Ireland doesn't want to help is not true", he added.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin responds to criticism from Tommy Tiernan about Ireland’s foreign aid spend
“It’s not that simple” https://t.co/FJL4CqGX6J pic.twitter.com/UYjM5XDwIA
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) September 22, 2022
Reporting by Sean Defoe in New York