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A management consultant's report has found that the Republic of Ireland's Chief State Solicitor's Office is so "seriously under-resourced" it is "not in a position to meet the demands placed on it".
The hard-hitting report, commissioned by the Chief State Solicitor, Michael Buckley, and undertaken by Deloitte & Touche, warns against the grave risks of such an under-funded office.
The report states the office, which acts as solicitors for the Republic's attorney general, may "cause embarrassment to the government", "significant financial costs" to the state and lead to the mishandling of cases, undertaken on the state's behalf.
Ken Murphy, chair of the Irish Law Society, said that although the situation had improved recently, "the report was no surprise and indicative of the chronic under-funding of all aspects of the Irish law system through the decades".
He added: "On a broader front there have been improvements in the attorney general's office and there have been a series of judges appointed at all levels, which has led to measurable improvements.
"The Dublin Circuit Court Office itself has said that, as little as nine months ago, the waiting list to be heard was up to two years whereas now they are down to six weeks.
"The Chief State Solicitor's Office is like the slowest ship in the convoy and it needs to catch up quickly."
A spokeswoman at the Chief State Solicitor's Office said Buckley had no comment to make.