The country's leading lawyers were paid over €72 million in criminal legal aid fees last year.
According to new figures from the Department of Justice released to Today FM, it's an increase of €4 million on the previous year.
People who can't afford to pay for their own defence in court qualify for legal aid, which means it's paid for by the state.
The total amount paid out under the scheme in 2022 was €72.2 million - compared to €68.2 million the previous year.
The highest-earning barrister in legal aid last year was senior counsel Michael J Bowman, a top defence lawyer, who got just under €564,000.
The next best-paid barrister under the scheme was junior counsel Keith Spencer, who got €529,000.
The highest-earning solicitors firm was John M Quinn Solicitors, which received over €664,000.