Mahon tribunal lawyer paid €60,000 over two months

Mon, Mar 5, 2012, 00:00

A TOP Mahon tribunal lawyer was paid almost €60,000 over two months with the tribunal, new figures show.

Patrick Quinn SC was paid the sum between December 1st, 2011 and January 31st, 2012. He was paid a total of €5.33 million by the tribunal up to the end of January this year.

The tribunal, which examined planning irregularities in Dublin, has not been in public session since 2008.

It is expected to issue its final report within weeks, written by tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon with Judge Mary Faherty and Judge Gerald Keys.

More than €50 million has been paid in legal fees to 35 barristers, solicitors and paralegal staff, since the tribunal was set up in 1997 to the end of January this year.

Payments have ceased to the majority, but five people, including Mr Quinn, have continued to carry out work for the tribunal.

Junior counsel Annette Foley was paid more than €30,000 from December 1st to January 31st, bringing her total earnings to over €2.8 million.

Solicitor Susan Gilvarry was paid almost €20,000 for the same two months, earning a total of €2.6 million.

Donal King, also a solicitor with the tribunal, was paid €18,250 for December and January, bringing his earnings to €1.2 million. And Emma Dalton, junior counsel, was paid just over €2,000 over the two months, bringing her earnings to just under €1 million.

Patricia Dillon SC who no longer works for the tribunal, was its highest earner, being paid almost €5.9 million.

An initial brief fee of almost €32,000 for senior counsel and €21,000 for junior counsel was set by then minister for finance Charlie McCreevy in 1997 when the tribunal was established.

Daily fees were set at €1,714 and €1,143 respectively. New rates came into effect of €2,250 for senior counsel and €1,500 for junior counsel in October 2002.

The tribunal was set up to inquire into a specific allegation of corruption in north Dublin, and its remit was broadened to allow for the investigation of all allegations about payments to politicians and officials. It last sat in public on December 3rd, 2008, after 917 days of hearings with 400 witnesses. Its legal team has earned more than €5.3 million since then.

Its final report will deal extensively with allegations made about a number of Fianna Fáil figures, including former government press secretary Frank Dunlop, former EU commissioner Pádraig Flynn and deceased TD Liam Lawlor. It will also address the financial affairs of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.