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Saturday 21 April 2018

McDowell paid €179k in legal fees by the State

Michael McDowell Picture: Tom Burke
Michael McDowell Picture: Tom Burke

Gordon Deegan

Former Tánaiste, Senator Michael McDowell (Ind) last year received just under €180,000 in legal fees from the State.

Figures released by the Office of the Attorney General in response to a Freedom of Information request show that the veteran politician and former leader of the now defunct Progress Democrats received €179,845 last year for his work on 12 cases in the civil courts.

The pay that Senator McDowell received is almost three times the €66,204 he received in fees in 2015 for four cases.

This year is shaping up to be another busy one for Senator McDowell in the legal arena where he is representing 'whistle-blower' Sgt Maurice McCabe at the Charleton Tribunal. The €179,845 received by Senator McDowell last year is part of €12.1m paid out in fees by the Office of the Attorney General last year and is similar to the €12.05m paid out in 2015.

Senator McDowell was the first to be elected to the Seanad's National University of Ireland panel.

The basic salary for senators is €65,000 - Senator McDowell has previously confirmed that he donates the proceeds from his two State pensions to charities at home and abroad.

A former Minister for Justice, Senator McDowell receives the State pension from his time as minister and Attorney General.

The figures from the Office of the Attorney General show that Ciaran Toland BL received the highest amount at €317,374 with one other barrister receiving fees of over €300,000 - Conor Power SC who received €309,646 for work on 42 cases.

Irish Independent

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