Dáil Éireann - Volume 568 - 17 June, 2003

Written Answers. - Tribunals of Inquiry.

  323. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he has the authority to appoint legal teams or representatives to tribunals, inquiries or other public committees of investigation under the aegis of his Department; the criteria used in the selection and appointment of these legal teams or representatives; the amount paid, or payable to date, which has been discharged, or is due to be discharged, from public funds to appointed legal teams or representatives since 1997; the names of legal teams or representatives appointed since 1997; the moneys paid or payable to these persons since 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16912/03]

  Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern): If the subject matter, arising from the terms of reference of a tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation is materially relevant and substantially impacts upon the functions, statutory or otherwise of my Department, I as Minister, in consultation with the Attorney General, may make an application to the tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation for grant of legal representation before the tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation.

  Similarly, if by virtue of its terms of reference a tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation determines that I should be legally represented then a legal team or representation on my behalf will attend, either on a limited or non-limited basis. Such attendance is subject to the terms of the grant of representation from the tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation in respect of me. The selection and appointment of the legal representation to a tribunal, inquiry or other public committee of investigation on my behalf is conducted by the Attorney General in consultation with my Department. The Attorney General will identify and nominate members of the legal team, including counsel if necessary. Such legal representation is paid for by my Department at rates of remuneration sanctioned by my Department and the Department of Finance in consultation with, and pursuant to, recommendations of the Attorney General.

  I am advised by the counsel who are appointed to a tribunal or non statutory inquiry to represent the tribunal or non statutory inquiry itself are usually selected and appointed by the chairman of the tribunal or non statutory inquiry in consultation with the Attorney General. Counsel who advise or represent parliamentary committee inquiries are usually selected and appointed by the parliamentary committee itself.

[1327]  The following are members of counsel on behalf of the State regarding the award of the second GSM licence (Moriarty tribunal counsel): John O'Donnell SC, Richard Law Nesbitt SC, Diarmuid Rossa Phelan JC, Conleth Bradley JC. The amount paid to date is €561,925.55.