Sunday 11 December 2016

Banking Inquiry spends €1.1m in Q1, including €900 on tea and coffee

Gordon Deegan

Published 05/05/2015 | 02:30

Charles Meenan,SC
Charles Meenan,SC

The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry has spent over €900 on tea and coffee for the first three months of this year.

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The €908.20 spent on refreshments for the inquiry's public hearings is part of a spend of €390,308 on miscellaneous items under the heading of non-payroll expenditure for the first quarter of this year.

The inquiry spent a total of €1.1m in the first three months of the year which includes €710,200 in payroll costs.

The figures released following a Freedom of Information request show that a panel of legal advisers were paid €98,061 for the first quarter of 2015 while consultants, FTI Consulting Ireland Ltd received €103,626 for expert advice for the inquiry's "context phase".

A further €47,355 was paid to recruitment firm, Hays Specialist Recruitment (Ireland) Ltd, for the recruitment of investigators.

The investigators were paid €359,564 between January and March of this year with a further €47,919 paid to banking inquiry members' parliamentary assistants.

The figures show that pay for staff at the inquiry totalled €302,717 for the first quarter.

Along with the €908.20 tea and coffee bill, an additional €200 was spent on refreshments for an "inquiry support team briefing".

It was revealed earlier this year that lawyers providing expert advice to the inquiry were charging €264-per-hour during the probe's preparatory phase.

With the inquiry up and running, its external legal costs for the first quarter totalled €98,061 - almost half the Oireachtas Commission's bill of €207,227 for lawyers and external solicitors last year.

Beauchamps Solicitors were paid €30,393 in the first quarter of 2015 while Charles Meenan SC received €9,111, Niall O'Hanlon BL received €6,266, Patricia O'Sullivan Lacy BL received €12,283 and Sara Moorhead SC received €7,638. The largest payout to any barrister during the first quarter by the inquiry was to Patrick McCann SC who was paid €31,367.

A progress report published last month said the banking inquiry has cost just under €2.2m to date. The committee has 50 staff, including 18 investigators and a six-person legal team.

Irish Independent

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