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State paid judges €27 million in 2011

This figure is likely to be significantly lower in 2012 after the results of last year’s referendum on judges’ pay.

A courtroom in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
A courtroom in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE STATE PAID just over €27 million to the country’s judges in 2011, according to new figures released by the Department of Finance.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Susan Denham, was paid €304,974 while the President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns received €283,836.

The seven judges of the Supreme Court received an average of €269,344 each while the 38 judges of the High Court were paid an average of just over €230,000.

The President of the Circuit Court was paid €258,000 while the 38 Circuit Court judges received an average of €172,000.

The District Court president received €192,951 in 2011. The 66 judges of the District Court received an average of €135,000.

Ireland’s judges are among the highest paid in Europe, second only to judges in Scotland.

An referendum in October saw an amendment passed to allow for the reduction of judicial salaries. Almost 80 per cent of those who voted were in favour of the proposal.

Previously the Constitution said that the remuneration of a judge could not be reduced while they were in office.

Legislation signed into law by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter saw judges take a significant pay cut of more than 10 per cent from 1 January 2012.

The total budget allocated to the Irish justice system in 2010 was around €2.5 billion. More than €280 million of this was ringfenced for the courts, public prosecution and legal aid.

Read: Irish judges’ salaries are second highest in Europe >

Read: Three rural courts ‘under assessment’ >

Read: Calls for judge to resign over ‘Neanderthal’ comment on Travellers >

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