Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Seán Fleming TD has demanded a detailed account from the Chief State Solicitor of the legal fees approved by him in respect of Garda Síochána compensation cases.
Deputy Fleming was speaking at the Public Accounts Committee today where it emerged that the taxpayer forked out €12 million in legal fees, on top of €24 million in garda compensation claims, in 2010 and 2011. The total payments amounted to €36.6 million.
Deputy Fleming commented, “Immediate action must be taken to reduce the excessive legal costs charged to the taxpayer for compensation cases taken by members of the garda force and members of the public. The fact that €12 million, or half of the amount paid in compensation, was paid to legal professionals is a cause of real public concern and anger. It raises questions about who is really benefitting from these cases.
“Taxpayers deserve to know exactly what this €12 million was spent on. I am calling on the Chief State Solicitor to publish a detailed account of the fees charged in these cases. I am also calling on the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin and the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to force the Chief State Solicitor to reduce this excessive burden on taxpayers.”