Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2542)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2542. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the expenditure incurred in respect of external legal fees in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32276/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Expenditure on external legal fees incurred by my Department since its establishment is set out in tabular form.

Year

Cost (€)

2011

34,412

2012

16,692

2013

392,182

2014

234,693

2015

152,978

2016

253,492

2017

395,371

2018

1,060,770

2019 (ytd)

455,720

Expenditure on legal fees increased in 2013 and 2014 due to cases arising from the Children’s Referendum 2012. Over 50% of the fees incurred in 2018 represent cases where my Department was under court order to pay claimants' costs. In addition, regular legal fees relating to the work being undertaken by the Supervisory and Documentary Counsel to identify the relevance and privilege status of files requested by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation have been incurred by my Department since 2016.

As a result, annual fees charged by the State Claims Agency, who manage liability on behalf of the State, has also increased over these years.