Mahon judges earned €4.5m in salaries and untaxed allowances

Judges with the Mahon Tribunal have been made millionaires during their time presiding over the planning corruption probe, figures reveal.

Judges Alan Mahon, Gerald Keyes, and Mary Faherty earned a combined e4.5m in salaries and untaxed allowances during their tenure. The judges’ allowances amounted to over €90,000 each over the nearly 10 years spent on the probe.

Their earnings come directly from the central fund in the exchequer and are on top of the internal costs and expenses for the inquiry, which are paid separately by the Department of Environment.

Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner reveal that each of the circuit court judges received annual salaries of e177,554. This was reduced to e156,248 in January this year for each judge following last year’s referendum on cutting judicial pay.

The three tribunal judges were also entitled to and received a special, untaxed allowance of e9,058 for each year worked at Dublin Castle.

The total paid in salaries and allowances to the three judges from Oct 24, 2002, to Mar 15, 2012, is €4,598,091.42.

The tribunal was led by a sole member, Judge Fergus Flood, from its inception in 1998 up until 2002, when the three judges took over.

Judge Flood is understood to have earned just under e1m and issued three interim reports during his time as chair of the inquiry.

Salaries and expenses for the three current judges is in addition to the e97m estimated cost of the inquiry to date.

This includes internal costs, administration expenses, legal fees for the tribunal’s own lawyers, costs for court challenges as well as third-party expenses which so far have cost nearly e10m.

The figures for the judges’ salaries and expenses were obtained by the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.

PAC chairman John McGuinness said: “It is part of our continued assessment of the Mahon Tribunal, whose figures we will continue to look at, including the third-party amounts as they arise.”

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