Michael Lowry held the floor of the Dail for a hour early Tuesday evening, as part of statements on the Moriarty Tribunal. Much earlier in the day, there was an interesting intervention from poll topping Louth TD Gerry Adams in which he criticising the tribunal for the huge legal cost (with precious little tangible product to show for it) of the whole affair:
Recently there was a dispute and much controversy about the cost of the Saville inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry. The legal team at the Moriarty tribunal was paid over twice the amount paid to the Saville inquiry legal teams. Figures I have been given show two barristers received €8.5 million each.
It’s a fair point (though the reference to Saville seems to have puzzled some of the Deputies in the house at the time) in particular when you consider no one was convicted, or punished as a result of a great deal of expensive forensic inquiry (and some of the Bloody Sunday families make a similar point of the Saville Inquiry…)
Taoiseach Enda Kenny went on to oblige the Sinn Fein leader with some granular detail:
The full cost of the tribunal’s legal team, from its establishment in 1997 to the end of February 2011, was approximately €33 million. At the concluding stages of its work, the legal team consisted of two senior counsel, three junior counsel, a legal researcher and a solicitor. The two senior counsel who have ceased working with the tribunal were paid a daily rate of €1,955 and €1,564, respectively. The two junior counsel who remain with the tribunal are paid €860.20 a day, while the third more senior junior counsel who has left the tribunal was paid a daily rate of €1,050 a day. The solicitor’s daily fee is €782, while the legal researcher who has also left the team was paid €391.39 a day. The three senior counsel earned €9.6 million, €9.3 million and €6.8 million, respectively. The three junior counsel earned €2.4 million, €1.8 million and €241,000, respectively. The solicitor earned €1.8 million, while the legal researcher earned €754,000. All these figures include VAT.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty