The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report into the cost of public tribunals makes interesting reading.
The CAG calculates that the three largest tribunals, Moriarty, Mahon and Morris, will end up costing taxpayers over €400 million.
The Morris tribunal, which has cost €46 million to date, will come in at around €80 million in total, the cheapest of the three.
The Mahon tribunal has already spent that much, and is expected to end up costing between €170 and €190 millions.
Finally, the Moriarty tribunal will clock in at over €100 million.
What costs so much?
Writing after he heard the evidence of one civilian witness during the second module, Fred Morris wrote that the young man in question ‘did his best to be an honest witness.’
‘If others had followed his example,’ he added pointedly, ‘the tribunal woul have concluded it’s work by now.’
That was in the early summer of 2005. The chairman had to spend a further two years listening to evidence (much of it dishonest) and didn’t publish his final report until autumn of 2008.
Lies cost money. And the most expensive liars, it is worth remembering, are our politicians.
Remember that when they come for your vote.