Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 22 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if barristers and solicitors working on tribunals established before 2007 will have their rates reduced to those set in 2004 which were to apply to tribunals from 1 January 2007. [6810/07]

Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the daily standard rate of remuneration for senior or junior counsel, barristers or solicitors involved in tribunals which fall under the remit of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7085/07]

  Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 130 together.

There are currently two sitting Tribunals which come under the aegis of my Department; the Morris Tribunal and the Smithwick Tribunal. In so far as the Morris Tribunal of Inquiry is concerned, I can inform the Deputies that the revised fees were to be introduced from October 2006. However, following consideration of a request from the Tribunal, the Government decided in June 2006 to extend the Tribunal at the prior existing rates of remuneration until the end of October 2007. The question of reviewing these rates, therefore, does not arise at this time.

I can further inform the Deputies that the Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry was established in May 2005. As this Tribunal was established subsequent to the Government Decision in 2004, the legal fees payable to the Smithwick Tribunal’s legal team have been in accordance with the revised rates. Accordingly, the question of a reduction in rates from 1 January, 2007, does not arise. The specific daily rates of remuneration that apply in respect of both Tribunals are set out in the following tabular statement:

Tribunal

Daily Rate of Remuneration Paid (excl. VAT)

Smithwick

Senior Counsel — €1,008 Junior Counsel — €672 Research Counsel — €252 Solicitor — €800

Morris

Senior Counsel — €2,250 Junior Counsel — €1,500 Research Counsel — €550