Legal eagles have some neck in crying poverty

Pity the poor penniless barristers. I almost keeled over when I read the self-serving protests of this most cosseted of our trades, who claim that cuts to their free legal aid fees could push them to the wall.

These well-heeled sons and daughters of the Establishment want to form a union now, no less.

Frankly, I cannot imagine any group in this country needing a union less than barristers. You'll need to have your hanky ready for this gem, from Feargal Kavanagh SC.

He says: "We are getting shafted. It is anti-democratic and we are not prepared to tolerate it."

Unfortunately for the bewigged ones this desperate plea came in the same week that it emerged that junior counsels in the Central Criminal Court get €5,280 on the first day of a murder trial and €1,157 for each day thereafter. Read that again. Yes, it's per day, not per week.

In light of such figures do barristers realise how their bleating sounds to the ordinary people of this country, struggling to pay mortgages?

Just how arrogant can they be?

Our legal system's finest need to take a long, hard look at themselves and realise that to gain any sympathy for a cynical public they must to accept cuts like everyone else.