Fitzmaurice fumes over lawyer fees at Banking Inquiry

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has expressed his outrage at news that one lawyer received €18,223 in fees for seven days’ work at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry in April and May of this year.

  The Irish Independent revealed on Tuesday that Charles Meenan SC received the sum for attending Bank Inquiry hearings concerning the evidence provided by various bankers and the former financial regulator, Patrick Neary, on seven dates between April 22 and May 28.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice described the news as “another instance of the system being totally out of touch with the ordinary public who are trying to make ends meet every week and every month”.

  He added: “This payment works out at €2,600 per day. This kind of payment is what makes people angry about the political system.

  “I know that this inquiry was set up so that it would not be as costly to the taxpayer as other inquiries in the past, but it would be a pity if the only result of the inquiry was to line the pockets of the legal profession.”

  Deputy Fitzmaurice described the inquiry, which included appeared from former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, as a “total charade”.

  He added: “Everyone who has been interviewed have said they were sorry for what happened, but it wasn’t their fault.

  “It was set up by the Government as a political exercise in the run up to an election and it is destined to be a failure.

  “It will cost a fortune and there will be nothing out of it.”