Irish ministers delay reductions in barristers’ tribunal fees

Barristers’ fees in five Irish tribunals will remain static for at least another three months, despite July’s announcement that costs would immediately be slashed by two-thirds.

The Republic of Ireland’s former finance minister cut barristers’ daily tribunal rates from €2,500 (£1,700) to €969 (£660) because of the tax burden they impose. However, ministers have decided to delay the reduced rates following talks with Ireland’s Attorney-General Rory Brady.

The new rates will not apply in the Morris tribunal, concerning allegations of Donegal Garda corruption, until 11 January 2006, and rate cuts in the Moriarty tribunal into payments to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey will not be introduced for another 23 months.

Barristers involved in the Murphy inquiry into child sex abuse will see reduced rates come into effect in December; the Clarke inquiry, into events at Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, in March 2005; and the Barr tribunal, investigating a shooting in County Longford, in June 2005.

The Irish Bar Council declined to comment.