The Department of Transport paid a Meath company €1.2 million to provide antigen tests to hauliers travelling to France.

According to the Sunday Times, RocDoc carried out 5,700 tests on truck drivers between January and March last year.

Fourteen of the samples were positive.

The Ashbourne-based firm was hired by the department after France made it requirement that all lorry drivers travelling from Ireland needed a negative result after the B.1.17 variant became dominant here.

The requirement was lifted on March fifth as a result of the low number of positive results.

The department says a tender process was not carried out and the contract was awarded under an “emergency procurement process”.