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Saturday 21 April 2018

Judges' expenses up 15pc to €2.3m as wages rise

The country's 145 judges last year claimed €2.3 million in expenses -- a 15pc increase on the previous year's bill.

According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, one district court judge last year received €82,240 in expenses on top of his salary of €158,000. The 15pc increases in expenses comes after judges were awarded pay increases averaging the same amount.

Ireland's 61 district court judges claimed the most expenses last year with a total of €1.3m claimed from 181 district court venues.

The figures show that the country's 38 circuit court judges claimed €845,644 in expenses, with one judge claiming €47,623 last year.

The bill for High Court and Supreme Court judges was much lower, as the former are mainly Dublin-based.

The figures show that 38 High Court judges received €133,992, including a €40,070 spend on wigs and gowns, including €4,000 each spent on attire by two judges.

The eight Supreme Court judges claimed the least amount of money, with the group receiving a total of just €11,701 in expenses.

The Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector's recommendations resulted in Supreme Court judges receiving a pay increase of 15pc to €270,000, while High Court judges received an increase of 15pc to €255,000.

Circuit Court judges received an increase of 22pc to €197,000 and a 17pc increase was handed to District Court judges, taking their salaries up to €158,000.

The Courts Service FOI unit refused to reveal the identity of the judges due to security concerns, and the "possibility that disclosure [might] result in inappropriate comment based on unreliable conclusions."

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