State pays €9.5m in civil court fees to barristers
A BARRISTER received more than €500,000 in fees for carrying out work on behalf of the State in the civil courts, new figures show.
According to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Emily Farrell received €519,772 in fees last year. The amount included VAT.
In a written Dail response to Fianna Fail's Niall Collins, Mr Kenny confirmed that €9.5m was paid out by the State to barristers in the civil courts in 2012. Last year's payout represents a 7pc drop on the €10.2m paid in fees in 2011 and a 46pc reduction on €17.7m from 2008.
The reduction follows Justice Minister Alan Shatter confirming that criminal legal aid payments declined by 10pc last year from €56.1m to €50.5m.
The figures concerning the amount paid out in 2012 by the Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO) and the Attorney General's office show that four other barristers received in excess of €200,000.
The figures show Siobhan Stack received €338,603, David Conlan Smyth received €252,225, and Anthony Moore received €208,122.
Shane Murphy, who represented the Government in the Marie Fleming right to die case, received €206,225 last year.
Mr Murphy also represented the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in its contempt action against Sean Quinn.
The figures show that the top 10 earning barristers received €2.4m between them.
Over the past five years, the figures show that barristers have received a total of €81.1m from the CSSO.
One of the top earners was Robert Barron who received €195,088. Mr Barron represented the Justice Minister in the successful Supreme Court appeal by Ian Bailey against his extradition to France in connection with the 1996 murder of Sophie Tuscan du Plantier.
Another top earner was high-profile barrister Paul Anthony McDermott who received €116,965.
A Government spokesman said: "There has been a 46pc drop in legal fees paid out when comparing 2008 expenditure with 2012 (between 2008 and 2011 the drop was 42pc). The average cost per case too, has also been reduced by almost 33pc in the same period."