Meath Live can exclusively reveal that supermarket giant Lidl paid the St Finian’s Trust, a body that oversees the affairs of the church in Meath €3m for the site close to the church in Dunboyne where they plan to build a new store.

Neither Lidl nor the trust would confirm the amount involved claiming it was ‘commercially sensitive’.

However a source with inside knowledge of the deal, which has provoked huge controversy locally, told Meath Live, ‘Your figure is correct and what people need to be asking is how much of that money will go back into the parish of Dunboyne.

‘The trust also sold land in Ashbourne and I understand people there were not happy with what came back to the parish.

‘As they have spent so much to acquire this site Lidl will be determined to get the store up and running as soon as possible to recoup their expenditure.’