Thursday 20 June 2019

Barrister who convicted Patrick Quirke was paid over €155,000 for his work during trial

Patrick Quirke. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Patrick Quirke. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Gordon Deegan

The senior barrister who led the prosecution team that secured the conviction of Patrick Quirke (50) for the murder of Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan received over €155,000 in fees for his work in the case.

New figures released by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in response to an FOI request show that Michael Bowman SC received €156,274 (ex VAT) for his work in the case.

In the longest running murder trial in the history of the State at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Bowman presented the circumstantial evidence that led to the conviction of Tipperary farmer, Mr Quirke.

In his closing speech, Mr Bowman told the jury: “The evidence has been laid painstakingly before you over the last 13 weeks. When you weave those strands together it is of sufficient strength to bear the burden and weight placed upon it.”

The €156,274 is made up of Mr Bowman receiving a brief fee of €8,316 to take on the case and the first day in court along with a ‘refresher’ fee of €2,000 for each day in court after the first day.

The total bill to the DPP for the three strong counsel team was €297,841 (ex VAT) with Mr Bowman’s colleague, David Humphries BL receiving €95,447 for his work on the case.

Mr Humphries' fees were made up of a brief fee of €5,544 and a refresher fee of €1,334.

In its FOI response, the DPP FOI unit didn’t name Mr Bowman or Mr Humphries due to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The bill to the tax-payer for Mr Quirke’s defence team will be higher as it consisted of two senior counsel, Bernard Condon SC and Lorcan Staines SC along with Edward Doocey BL.

The defence barristers were instructed by one of the best known criminal defence legal firms in the country, Michael Staines & Co.

Mr Condon and Lorcan Staines would receive the same level of fees as fees as Mr Bowman showing that the senior counsel on both sides of the case cost a combined €468,816.

Mr Bowman led the State prosecution team in the Quirke case but has established his reputation in the law library as the most in-demand defence barrister in the country.

Last year, Mr Bowman was the highest paid barrister under the Criminal Legal Aid scheme earning €533,460 (ex VAT) in fees and this followed Mr Bowman being ranked the top paid criminal defence barrister under the legal aid scheme in 2017 when he received €460,289 in fees.

Last year, Mr Bowman represented accused persons in some of the most notorious crimes to come before the criminal courts in recent times.

Mr Bowman represented Estonian hitman, Imre Arakas (60) Sopruse, Tallinn who was contracted by an international crime cartel to murder James Gately. Mr Arakas was jailed for six years.

Mr Bowman also represented Eoin Berkley (25) of Hampton Wood Way, Finglas, Dublin who was jailed for 14 years for the repeated rape of a Spanish student in July 2017.

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