* Some of the biggest and most profitable brands and companies operating in Ireland – including Brown Thomas, Avoca, Zara and Volkswagen – have benefitted from the Government's Covid-19 wage support scheme.
Revenue has published the names of more than 66,500 companies that availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
The list also includes well-known names such as Arnotts, Gap, Nandos, DAA, Kingspan, British Airways and pub group Wetherspoons.
Retailers Monsoon and Mango and estate agent Sherry FitzGerald were also on the list.
The scheme, which was introduced in late March, saw the Government step in and pay up to 85 per cent of the wages of employees in companies adversely impacted by the pandemic.
To qualify, employers had to prove that at least 25 per cent of their turnover had been wiped out by the crisis and that they were unable to fully meet normal wage costs. The scheme was designed to encourage employers to keep staff on their books despite the impact of Covid-19.
It ran until the end of August at a cost to the taxpayer of nearly €3 billion before being replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).
Revenue said more than 66,500 businesses availed of the scheme with more than 664,000 employees having their pay subsidised.
The Irish Times was among the companies availing of the support.
Revenue said that not all employers who registered for TWSS are included on the published list, as some who registered under the programme did not receive any payment, while others subsequently completed a process of “reversing out” of the scheme.
It warned that employers who are ineligible for the scheme will be required to refund all TWSS payments and make good all underpaid PRSI. Payments under the TWSS scheme were not liable to either employee or employer PRSI payments.
The tax agency, which administers the scheme, has been writing to participating businesses, seeking proof that they were indeed eligible to participate.
* an earlier version of this article incorrectly included aircraft lessor Avolon and Smurfit Kappa among the recipients of TWSS funding.