Sunday 19 November 2017

Taxpayers hit with €70k bill for judges' wigs

Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Wigs and gowns for judges have cost the Irish taxpayer a staggering €70,000 over the last two years.

The cost of outfitting is included in an eye-popping €5m expenses bonanza claimed by judges during the period.

But unlike Irish politicians, whose expenses are broken down individually, the Irish courts service will not divulge the details of specific individual expenses.

According to the figures, there was a 53 per cent rise last year in judges' incidental expenses compared with the previous year.

In total, €40,138 was claimed by the State's judiciary for attire and formal court dress during 2009.

The total in subsistence and mileage claimed by the judiciary last year was €2.3m.

According to the new figures, one district court judge claimed €91,909 in travel and subsistence expenses last year.

The figures released by the courts service show that the unidentified district court judge received €43,448 in travel expenses and an additional €48,461 in subsistence.

The amount claimed by the district judge is almost €40,000 higher than the next highest amount of €50,651 claimed by another district court judge.

The courts service said that "in some instances, expenses paid to judges include arrears from previous years".

"Judges assigned to larger geographical areas have substantial travel between court venues within the area," said the court service.

The surge in claims for wigs and gowns came as plans to introduce designer robes for judges were shelved.

Sunday Independent

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