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.
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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