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Confidential documents shredded to prevent leaks -- at a cost of €46,000

THE Mahon Tribunal spent more than €46,000 shredding confidential documents because there were concerns they could be leaked to the media and other parties.

There were lots to shred.

During 2006, the tribunal paid one company more than €9,500 to photocopy almost 1.9 million sheets of paper. Other costs included €220,000 for investigations into a complicated web of companies, land ownership and offshore trusts.

Almost €69,000 was spent buying newspapers and kitchen supplies, while another €19,041 was spent purchasing transcripts and securing copies of items broadcast on the airwaves.

Pieces broadcast on RTE TV and Radio, Today FM, Newstalk, BBC, and Sky News were sought.

A 10-minute transcript from RTE Radio One news on April 30, 2007 cost €215.

The item dealt with a decision of the tribunal to suspend hearings because the general election campaign had started, while former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also spoke about the expected appearance of his former partner Celia Larkin.

Recruitment companies were paid €15.4m in staff salaries and fees to provide IT technicians, legal secretaries, office managers and indexers.

Irish Independent