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Taxpayer pays €1.2m Desmond legal bill


Dermot Desmond

Dermot Desmond

Dermot Desmond

The taxpayer has paid a €1.2m legal bill for billionaire Dermot Desmond and associates arising from their involvement in the Moriarty Tribunal.

In the biggest payment this year arising from third-party legal costs in connection to the long-running tribunal, the Dept of the Taoiseach has confirmed that €1.22m was paid to Ennis-based solicitors Michael Houlihan & Partners, who acted for Dermot Desmond, Michael Walsh and Mr Desmond's International Investment &Underwriting Ltd in the tribunal.

However, the payout - which is inclusive of 23pc VAT - is more than €500,000 less than what was being claimed on behalf of Mr Desmond (right). A spokesman at the Dept of the Taoiseach said yesterday that the claim for legal costs made by Mr Desmond was for €1.767m and was originally lodged in September 2013.

He said that payments in relation to third party costs to date have been for €6.6m.

He added that third-party claims were originally lodged for €13.89m, representing a saving to the State of €7.27m.

Last year, the bill to the tax-payer for the Moriarty Tribunal passed the €50m mark in spite of the tribunal publishing its final report in 2011. The total spend from the start of the tribunal in 1997 to the end of December last year stood at €50.8m.