Tribunal pays out 75% of expenses

THE Mahon Tribunal is paying out more than three-quarters of expenses and costs being claimed by third parties, according to bills settled so far with individuals and companies.

Figures show third parties and witnesses have so far claimed some €11.1 million for co-operating with the corruption inquiry. Of these, Judge Mahon has agreed to settle €8.49m in costs.

Several other claims amounting to more than €800,000 remain unresolved with legal accountants.

However, the mounting costs for witnesses and their legal teams only relate to the inquiry’s first few years.

According to the Department of Environment, third-party costs are only being considered for hearings between 1997 and 2002.

“It is understood the chairman proposes to rule on costs applications relating to the period for 2003-2008 once the tribunal’s final report is completed — probably in 2009,” stated the department.

A full breakdown of payments to third parties for the first five years of the tribunal shows costs paid to 35 individuals, as well as 22 corporate claims settled.

Larger expenses claimed from Mahon include:

Independent Radio and Television Commission, now the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (€127,187).

Post Publications/Frank Connolly (€121,583).

Marcus Sweeney, JMSE executive (€355,123).

Gabriel Grehan, former JMSE director, and Mary Grehan (€196,215).

Eircom (€129,102).

Anglo Irish Corporation (€135,552).

Top costs

1. €3,567,779.05

James Gogarty, whistle blower whose allegations led to the establishment of the tribunal and ultimate downfall of Ray Burke

2. €1,001,853

RTÉ: Gave evidence about transmission facilities among matters in relation to Century Radio.

3. €633,005.04

Gerard Downes: A former financial controller with JMSE, he gave details about the construction group’s history.

4. €482,768.94

Fianna Fáil.

5. €356, 877.44

National Irish Bank.

6. €294,479.18

Dermot Ahern: TD and Fianna Fáil minister, he gave evidence about his efforts to check Gogarty allegations about Ray Burke.

7. €215,142.33

Fine Gael.

8. €91,097.57

Dermot Desmond: The billionaire financier gave evidence about Century Radio.

9. €72,945.50

Anne Burke, wife of former minister Ray Burke.

10. €46,585

Maureen Redmond, wife of former assistant Dublin City manager George Redmond.

11. €27,554.30

John Mulhern, son in law of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and horse trainer, a secret investor in Century Radio.

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