A politician in Ireland has defended the amount he spends on printer supplies, after it emerged he charged over €50,000 (£42,150) to taxpayers for toner cartridges over a two-year period.

Sinn Fein's Aengus O Snodaigh purchased 434 cartridges between 2007 and 2008, which were used to create leaflets for his Dublin constituency.

Described as a "prolific" producer of the materials, it was estimated by the Irish Independent he could have made 4.3 million monochrome or 3.4 million colour pages during the period.

Mr O Snodaigh denied he was a "freeloader", explaining: "Part of my job as a TD and a public representative is to ensure that the public who elect me are kept informed."

However, Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald admitted the usage was excessive and said Mr O Snodaigh would not have run up such a large bill had he been alerted to the issue by the authorities.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin called for the representative's use of printer supplies to be investigated by the Irish parliament.