The costs associated with the marathon Graham Dwyer murder trial has helped push the lawyer bill for the first six months of this year for the Director of Public Prosecutions to over €7.4m.
Figures released by the DPP in response to a freedom of information request show between January and June, it paid barristers to represent the State in the criminal courts €7.462m.
The payout represents a 12% or €900,000 increase on the €7.37m paid to counsel for the corresponding period last year and the spend this year is well on its way to top the €13.4m paid by the DPP to barristers for the whole of 2014.
The lead prosecutor in the Dwyer case for the murder of Elaine O’Hara, Sean Guerin SC was paid over €100,000 (all figures including 23% Vat) for his work in putting the murderer behind bars.
Overall, the DPP paid the barrister team in the Dwyer trial €237,749.
However, Mr Guerin doesn’t feature in the top six best paid prosecutors for the first six months and he received €118,936 for his work over the period.
The top-earning prosecutor was once more the in-demand, Una Ní Raifeartaigh SC who received far and away the highest pay at €327,169.
Even taking account of the €61,178 Vat component of the total, Ms Ní Raifeartaigh received €265,991 or over €10,000 per week for the first 26 weeks.
The two others to make up the top three are Brendan Grehan SC who received €189,620 and Paul O’Higgins SC who received €166,013.
Ms Ní Raifeartaigh and Mr Grehan represented the DPP in the long-running Mark Nash murder trial who was convicted in April for the murders of Sylvia Sheils and Mary Callanan at their sheltered housing in Grangegorman in Dublin in 1997.
Mr O’Higgins is representing the DPP in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Seán Fitzpatrick that was recently adjourned to next May.
The amount paid to the top 25 earning barristers for the first half of this year totals €2.86m.
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