One of the Government's ministerial jets, which was recently withdrawn from service, has been sold to a US based company for over €460,000.

The sale went through late last year but the price has only now become public.

Last summer, the Gulfstream 4 jet underwent its annual maintenance inspection in the US.

According to the Department of Defence, it became apparent that the servicing and repair of the aircraft would have involved a significantly higher level of investment that it was anticipated.

It was then decided that the jet would be withdrawn from service and would not return to Ireland.  

The Department of Defence confirmed today that the aircraft was sold four months ago to a US based company for €462,000.

An inter-departmental group has now been established to see if another replacement aircraft will be sought.