Six TDs and Senators have had to refund almost €10,000 in expenses after an independent audit found they could not be justified due to a lack of evidence.

It found that Fine Gael TDs Maria Bailey and Alan Farrell made ineligible claims amounting to €6,000.

The information was revealed in an independent audit of the Public Representation Allowance paid to 22 TDs and Senators in 2017, carried out by consultants Mazars.

The politicians were forced to hand back the money because they could not show receipts or supporting documentation to validate amounts paid to them during the period under audit.

All six politicians have repaid the expenses to the Oireachtas.

The audit said that 16 out of the 22 members selected for audit were able to show receipts or relevant documentation for their expenses.

The report said €9,650.45 was deemed ineligible of the total of €71,622 expenses audited.

The following politicians had to pay back expenses: Fine Gael's Alan Farrell - €4,214.79, Fine Gael's Maria Bailey - €1,977.1 Senators Lynn Ruane - €978.81, Fine Gael's Michelle Mulherin - €2,006.73, Independent TD Colette Kelleher - €245.85 and Fine Gael's Jerry Buttimer - €227.16.

In a statement, Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell said that invoices for legitimate services carried out in 2016 were paid in 2017.

However, he said the auditor had disallowed the expenses for the purposes of the 2017 calendar year.

He said: "During the course of the audit, I expressed my disappointment that legitimate expenses incurred in the course of my duties as a member of Dáil Éireann were disallowed because the audit guidelines do not allow for customer credit periods, ie. 30 days over year end."

The audit's findings were criticised by both Ms Mulherin and Mr Buttimer who said the expenses were for advertisements that contained information on their clinics.