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Protests Take Place At Bray Courthouse As Criminal Barristers Withdraw Service nationwide

Today’s withdrawal of services marks the first of three days of planned action for this month.

Following a recommendation from the Council of The Bar of Ireland last month, criminal barristers are withdrawing their services today in the first of three days of withdrawal this month.

Protests are taking place across 16 courthouses nationwide where criminal cases were due to be heard on the day, including the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin; Ennis, Co Clare; Washington Street, Cork; Tralee, Co Kerry; Naas, Co Kildare; Kilkenny City; Limerick City; Castlebar, Co Mayo; Longford town; Trim, Co Meath; Sligo town; Clonmel, Co Tipperary; Bray, Co Wicklow; Waterford City; Wexford town.

This is an escalation on the unprecedented action taken by criminal barristers all over the country on October 3rd last, with the aim of seeking an independent, meaningful, time-limited and binding mechanism to determine the fees paid to criminal barristers by the Director of Public Prosecutions and under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Scheme.

Following the first withdrawal on October 3rd 2023, a 10% restoration was subsequently announced in Budget 2024 on October 10th 2023. However, even after this 10% was restored, the full range of FEMPI-era cuts that were applied across the public sector, continue to apply to the profession, and the unilateral breaking of the link (in 2008) to public sector pay agreements has yet to be restored.

This is despite a Government commissioned review in 2018 acknowledging that the reversal of the cuts was justified given the level of reform and flexibilities delivered by the profession.

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