The Planning and Payments tribunal isn’t quite over yet. There are still a few loose ends to be tied up, questions that retired country manager George Redmond has to answer in cross-examination. Then there are the final reports, which will take up to a year to write. Finally, probably a month or so after the final report is published, there will be a hearing to decide costs.
The tribunal has the power to do real damage to witnesses who failed to cooperate, not just refusing to pay their legal costs, but – if it decides that they obstructed the tribunal in its work – making them pay part of the tribunal’s own costs.
But it’s unlikely to happen. Not everyone will get costs. Some will only get partial costs. None are likely to face fines that affect their bottom lines.
We’ve seen two judges’ names attached to the tribunal. Ten years of testimony. Nine hundred and sixteen days of hearings. Sixty thousand pages of evidence. Seventysix thousand pages of correspondence. Four hundred witnesses. Seventy million euro spent to date, and possibly up to three hundred when all the sums are calculated.
So now you know how much a lie costs.