Nine earned €33m in Moriarty fees

 

Nine legal professionals at the Moriarty tribunal have shared €33 million in fees with the highest payment to an individual being more than €9 million, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has been told.

Department of the Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser told the committee latest figures to the end of March this year showed the tribunal has so far cost some €43 million.

He said there was an expectation the tribunal, which was established in 1997, will eventually cost between €100 million and €120 million.

Mr Fraser said a sum of €650,000 had been set aside for the tribunal this year. However, he said the issue of what parties at the tribunal would have their costs paid from the public purse was a judicial one and the responsibility of tribunal chairman Mr Justice Michael Moriarty.

This was the reasons for the uncertainty about final costs of the tribunal, he added.

Mr Fraser told committee chairman John McGuinness he would write to Mr Justice Moriarty to ascertain as much information on final costs as possible, having regard to the sensitivities and independence of the tribunal. He said it was the role of the department of facilitate the tribunal but not to supervise it.

Mr McGuinness said it was not intended to interfere with the tribunal’s independence but it would be “unfair” to the taxpayer if as much information as possible was not released.

He suggested a transcript of the committee’s meeting be sent to the judge.