€6.7m set aside for 2011 tribunal costs
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen yesterday revealed €6.7m has been set aside to cover the cost of the Moriarty Tribunal next year.
But Mr Cowen also announced a cut of up to €35m on the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Attorney General and the Central Statistics Office by 2014.
The savings, which will be in the administrative areas, will reduce the total allocation for 2011 to €25m, a 15pc reduction on the 2010 revised allocation.
Mr Cowen said the Moriarty Tribunal funding would cover the tribunal's reporting costs and "some element" of its legal costs.
The revelation comes as anger mounts at the length of time the Moriarty inquiry -- now in its 13th year and having cost around €39m to date -- is taking to complete its work.
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said the allocation was almost as high as 2010 -- even though it had completed its public hearings. But Mr Cowen defended the cost.
"The provision relates to the running costs of the tribunal in 2011 and the costs which are estimated to arise in 2011 in regard to the completion of the tribunal's work," he said.
"It is expected to include reporting costs and some element of the award of legal costs."
Meanwhile, Mr Cowen said the reduced allocation for the DPP would not compromise frontline prosecution services -- especially in relation to the banking sector.
He said banking issues had been afforded the highest priority and investigations were being carried out by the DPP and the investigating authorities as expeditiously as possible.