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Monday 23 September 2019

Moriarty Tribunal costs to top €65m

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Stock photo
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The costs of the Moriarty Tribunal are set to top €65m this year, the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has heard.

And Department of the Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser also told TDs that his estimate for how much the various tribunals and Commissions of Investigations have cost over the years is "not far off" €500m. The Moriarty Tribunal, which began in the late 1990s, examined the financial affairs of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and former Fine Gael communications minister Michael Lowry. It published its final report in 2011.

The tribunal investigated the awarding in 1995 of the State's second mobile phone licence to businessman Denis O'Brien's Esat Digifone. The tribunal found that Mr Lowry assisted Mr O'Brien, who is INM's largest shareholder, in his bid to secure the licence. Both men dispute the tribunal's findings. The Department of the Taoiseach is still paying costs relating to the Tribunal. Mr Fraser said that total expenditure stands at €61.2m with a further €4.5m estimated to be spent this year.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said in relation to the tribunal "it's an extraordinary length of time and a very large amount of money".

Irish Independent

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