State paid €6.5m to solicitors for DPP work in 2013

Private solicitors working for the Director of Public Prosecutions were paid almost €6.5m last year.

According to information released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the top earning solicitor practice contracted to the State Solicitor Service last year was Barry Galvin in Cork City, who received €453,778.

Mr Galvin retired as state solicitor for the city last year but continues in his private practice. He also served as the chief legal adviser to the Criminal Assets Bureau for seven years to 2003, having being central to the establishment of the agency.

The €6.47m pay to the state solicitors represents only a marginal increase on the €6.43m paid out in 2012.

The spend on the service represented 17% of the DPP’s overall spend of €36.1m last year.

Fees to barristers totalled €13m and accounted for 36% of the DPP’s spend with salaries, wages and allowances accounting for 34% of the office’s spend.

The money to state solicitors does not represent a salary for the state solicitor — instead the fees that are paid include allowances for a personal salary, staff costs, premises and other overheads, as well as travel and subsistence.

Remuneration is divided into six bands to reflect the anticipated amount of work required in each geographical area. Additional fees are paid in certain circumstances, including long-running trials.

As part of their contract, state solicitors provide a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year, service, but are not entitled to a state pension.

A good proportion of the work of a state solicitor involves the preparation of books of evidence for trials that are proceeding on indictment for trial by judge and jury to the circuit or central criminal courts.

The figures show that the Limerick City state solicitor, Michael Murray — who has spent much of his legal career bringing Limerick gang members to face justice — was paid €349,022 last year.

Some 32 state solicitors are contracted to work for the DPP, with each one designated to a particular region and each contract lasting 10 years.

The figures show that 13 solicitors received payment between €250,000 and €200,000 for their work on behalf of the State.

The figures show that a further seven solicitors received payments between €150,000 and €200,000 with a further 10 receiving fees between €100,000 and €150,000.

Legal costs

Barry Galvin, Cork City: €453,778

Michael Murray, Limerick City: €349,022

Paul Fitzpatrick, Tipperary South: €247,123

Edward O’Sullivan, Kerry: €240,944

Francis Hutchinson, Waterford: €240,508

Kevin O’Doherty, Wexford South East: €237,646

Vincent Deane, Mayo: €235,485

Geraldine Gillece, Kildare South: 234,092

John Brosnan, Cork South East: €233,434

Vincent O’Reilly, Meath: €233,399

Fergus Mullen, Louth: €231,708

Ciarán Liddy, Donegal: €229,529

Martin Linnane, Clare: €227,722

Rory Benville, Wicklow: €227,204

WJ Kennedy, Galway West: €226,894

Frank Nyhan, Cork North East: €197,816

Malachy F Boohig, Cork West: €185,767

Peter Jones, Westmeath: €185,402

Gerald Meaney, Kilkenny: €171,671

Sharon Murphy, Kildare North/West: €168,723

Aidan Judge, Limerick County: €155,258

Gerard O’Brien, Tipperary North: €151,886

Thomas McLoughlin, Galway East: €149,693

Donal W Dunne, Laois: €145,950

Alan Millard, Carlow: €145,213

John Hughes, Offaly: €144,329

Rory Hayden, Cavan: €144,303

Barry Healy, Monaghan: €143,276

Kieran Madigan, Roscommon: €125,997

Mark Connellan, Longford: €124,896

Noel Farrell, Leitrim: €123,383

Jeremiah Healy, Cork North East: €13,703

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