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Senior judges facing ruin from poor investments

A NUMBER of senior judges who suffered huge losses from ill-fated property investments and a meltdown in bank shares face financial ruin, the Irish Independent has learned.

Financial experts have advised up to 10 members of the judiciary that they will not be able to meet their financial commitments.

Informed sources said the judges were warned by financial experts that they will not be able to continue servicing their loans -- many of which are linked to multi-million euro property investments -- owing to the combined impact of pending pay and pension cuts.

The judges sought the expert financial and legal advice after the Government announced details of caps on public-sector pensions and plans to hold a referendum on judges' pay.

The disclosure comes as figures reveal the Irish judiciary is the highest paid in Europe, with Supreme Court judges here paid more than twice as much as their counterparts in France.

According to figures from the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), Irish Supreme Court judges earn €257,872.

This compared with similarly ranked judges earning €227,446 in Switzerland, €212,093 in England and €107,011 in France.

Irish Independent