Fifteen private solicitors’ practices received fees in excess of €200,000 last year for carrying out work on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The office of State solicitor for Cork City, Frank Nyhan, received fees totalling just under €500,000.
The figures were released by the DPP’s office.
The 32 solicitors, all based outside Dublin, last year earned €6.426m in fees.
The fees include personal allowance to State solicitors, staff costs’ allowance, long trial allowances, travel, copying and expenses.
Mr Nyhan’s office received the largest amount at €497,245.
It includes a personal allowance of €85,647 to Mr Nyhan, along with a personal pension contribution of €8,565.
The fees paid over to Mr Nyhan also included a staff allowance of €278,873 and an expense allowance of €118,152.
State solicitors sustained an 8% decrease in certain payments in 2009, as a result of the Financial Emergency in the Public Interest Act.
As a result of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, salaries for staff at State solicitors’ offices were increased by 1.75% from January 1 this year.
State solicitors’ pay, meanwhile, will increase on April 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018, although no change is to be made in respect of 2016.
In an emailed response, released through the FOI Act, to an official at the DPP’s office informing Mr Nyhan of the increase to staff and scheduled increases for state solicitors next year, Mr Nyhan quipped “if we live long enough, we might get back to where we started!”
The figures also show that the office operated by State solicitor for Limerick City, Michael Murray, who has played a significant role in tackling gangland crime in Limerick, received payments of €346,442 last year.
Mr Murray received the second highest payment and was more than €100,000 than the €244,830 received by State solicitor for Cork South East, John Brosnan.
Other practices to receive in excess of €200,000 with a large component made up of staff costs include Kevin O’Doherty, Wexford South East — €235,495; Vincent O’Reilly, Meath — €234,068; William Kennedy, Galway West Riding — €233,775; Vincent Deane, Mayo — €233,742; Fergus Mullen, Louth — €233,683; Edward O’Sullivan, Kerry — €233,489; Paul Fitzpatrick, Tipperary South Riding —€232,873; Ciarán Liddy, Donegal — €231,098; Francis Hutchinson, Waterford — €229,486; Martin Linnane, Clare — €228,289; Rory Benville, Wicklow — €228,062; and Geraldine Gilleece, Kildare South — €225,767.
A further six practices received fees of between €150,000 and €100,000. They are Sharon Murphy, Kildare North/West — €198,825; Malachy Boohig, Cork West Riding — €181,085; Jeremiah Healy, Cork North East — €170,206; Peter Jones, Westmeath — €168,496; Gerald Meaney, Kilkenny — €164,607; and Hugh Sheridan, Sligo — €154,518.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved