The cost of legal fees for witnesses to the Mahon and Moriarty tribunals is likely to leave the taxpayer with an overall bill of up to €400 million for both inquiries, according to internal Government records.
While both tribunals have completed their final reports, the State has yet to pay the bulk of the legal costs of individuals or corporations who were involved in the tribunals over a 15-year period.
Government documents show that original estimates compiled by the Comptroller and Auditor General several years ago may be exceeded significantly.
A Supreme Court ruling in 2010 – which held that the Mahon tribunal may not be able to refuse costs to witnesses who obstructed its work – has contributed to upward pressure on legal costs.
(Leon Farrell/Eleanor Keegan/Photocall Ireland)