An independent review is to be conducted into how funds raised by National Lottery ticket sales are distributed to good causes.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath received backing for the initiative at yesterday's Cabinet meeting.

More than €250 million is raised by National Lottery sales each year to support good causes throughout Ireland.

The funds raised by the National Lottery are transferred to the Exchequer to part finance projects undertaken by various Government departments.

It is understood that Mr McGrath received representations from charitable organisations expressing concerns about transparency of these allocations.

The aim of the independent review is to improve both the clarity and effectiveness of how the National Lottery funding is distributed to such projects.

The review is also expected to consider how funding can be allocated to new and emerging good causes.

It is understood the review will commence shortly and be completed by next year - with the Cabinet then considering any recommendations on reforms.