Court criers can nearly double pay thanks to expenses
ALL rise, please! Court criers – also known as tipstaff – are receiving almost as much in expenses as their basic salary, new figures show.
Last year, tipstaff claimed €990,000 in expenses. And while this was down on the €1.07m claimed in 2011, it showed an average claim of €13,200 for 75 court criers.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed one court crier claimed €20,741 in expenses.
The annual salary for a crier ranges from €22,620 to €31,512.
However, they can also earn up to 23 hours a week in overtime.
The tipstaffs, who usher judges into courtrooms with the cry 'All rise please!', can claim expenses for travel and subsistence costs incurred for attending court away from their home location.
Other duties include receiving visitors to the judge's chambers, filing judgments or obtaining law books and driving the judge's car.
Tipstaffs were first introduced in the 1920s but their days could be numbered.
Judicial researchers were appointed last year and they can carry out many of the duties tip-staffs have been tasked with over the years.
In 2009, economist, Colm McCarthy recommended in his An Bord Snip Nua report the abolition of the tipstaffs, stating that "in a modern justice system the justification for these grades is questionable".
Mr McCarthy said that the abolition of the grade would save €2.5m a year "having regard, in particular, to the overtime and travel and subsistence associated with these grades".
The State expects to save around €190,000 each year, with the creation of the judicial researcher position to replace tipstaffs.