O’Brien’s scathing attack over cost of tribunal

BUSINESSMAN Denis O’Brien has launched a scathing attack on the Moriarty Tribunal, arriving at Dublin Castle with a birthday cake to mark the 13th year of the long-running inquiry.

Yesterday marked the 13th year since the beginning of the tribunal, which was set up to investigate the awarding of a second phone licence to Mr O’Brien’s Esat Digifone consortium in the 1990s.

The tribunal has been consistently criticised by Mr O’Brien and has yet to issue a report into its findings despite costing the taxpayer in the region of €200 million to date.

The tycoon showed up at the Tribunal Office in Dublin Castle yesterday to deliver a birthday cake as a tongue-in-cheek gift.

“I brought a birthday cake for them, because I didn’t want them to spend money on a cake to celebrate 13 years of existence,” he said.

Mr O’Brien also took out full page advertisements in a number of national newspapers to highlight the event, pointedly referencing the cost to the taxpayer of the inquiry.

“Job cuts? Recession? You’d never guess it down at the Moriarty Tribunal. Today September 26, 2010, marks its 13th birthday, with total costs to the taxpayer now estimated to top€200 million.

“The Tribunal’s own costs to date are over €41 million, €32 million of which has gone in fees to its own lawyers, including more than €9.3 million to one Senior Counsel, €9.2 million to a second and almost €7 million to a third. And still the party goes on. Unbelievably, last month, Justice Moriarty asked for even more lawyers. It beggars belief,” read the advert.


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