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Moriarty Tribunal has cost State €42m so far, Kenny reveals

The costs to the Department of the Taoiseach have reached €41.96m, with barristers earning up to €2,000 a day.
Mar 29th 2011, 3:13 PM 794 6

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has revealed that the running of the Moriarty Tribunal has cost the state almost €42m so far.

Answering a question from Gerry Adams on the costs of the Tribunal, the findings of which were published last week, Kenny said the costs to his Department – which currently stood at €41.96 million – did not include claims by third parties to recover their own costs.

No applications had yet been received in that respect, he said.

Kenny said €33m of those costs had been spent on the State’s legal team, which consisted of five barristers, one solicitor and one legal researcher.

The two Senior Counsels held on retainer by the state were paid at fixed daily rates of €1,955 and €1,564 respectively.

The most senior of the three Junior Counsels was paid €1,050 a day, while the others were paid a rate of €860.20 a day. The solicitor was paid €782 per day, while the legal researcher was paid €391.39 a day.

Kenny also revealed that the three various Senior Counsels employed by the State to work on the Tribunal over its 14-year history had earned €9.6m, €9.3m and €6.8m respectively. The three Junior Counsels earned €2.4m, €1.8m, and €241,000.

The solicitor had earned total fees of €1.8m, while the legal researcher had earned €754,000. All the prices given by Kenny included VAT, the Taoiseach added.

Adams complained that the government’s spending on the Tribunal had more than doubled the approximate amount spent by the British government on the Saville Enquiry, and said the costs showed the continuation of a ‘golden circle’.

The United Left Alliance’s Joe Higgins, meanwhile, said it was wrong that a Tribunal established to investigate alleged misconduct on the part of four millionaires had created six more through legal fees.

Elsewhere, Kenny said he was in the process of appointing four special advisers to his Department – including Mark Kennelly, who was a senior aide to Michael Lowry at the time the Esat mobile phone licence was awarded.

Brian Cowen, in response to a parliamentary question last December, had also employed four assistants. Kenny said, however, that the total number of party staff being appointed to his Department was fewer than those hired by previous Taoisigh.

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Gavan Reilly

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