Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil today that Clare County Council are not legally allowed to withhold grants from third level students.
It emerged yesterday that the Council has written letters to grant applicants asking them if they have paid their household charge.
It said that it will prioritise the processing of grants for applicants who have paid the €100 levy.
However, in the Dáil earlier today, the Taoiseach told the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams that the Council does not have the legal right to stop people from receiving grants.
"Clare County Council are not entitled in law to reduce or withhold a portion of the third-level grant, but as a matter of course, they are entitled to have as much information about the numbers who have paid the household charge as is a requirement in law," he said.