Regarding the criminal side of things, that came from an EU Copyright Directive so yes, under EU “law” (enacted in Ireland before it was made and then “fixed up” afterwards to match the final text). As for the copyright infringement, I didn’t look for any copyright information in the pdf’s but assume (thanks to the use of “DRM”) that it is copyrighted text and not freely redistributable.

IANAL and maybe a lawyer could successfully find a way to defend you under some form of “fair use” like exception, but if you asked me to place a wager on whether or not your could win any such case I’m afraid my money would be against you! I don’t think the fact that “our” money paid for the document matters though, Ireland and the EU don’t have anything like the USA’s rules which place government created content into the Public Domain.

Of course I 100% agree that it is ridiculous.