Attorney General penned direct letter to Minister Paschal Donohoe over “completely insufficient” allocation in budget for his office

The Attorney General’s Office warned the budget they were being offered for 2024 was “completely insufficient” and would not even be enough to maintain existing services.

The office was so unhappy with their allocation that Attorney General Rossa Fanning ended up writing to Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe to seek extra funding.

Their sister organisation the Chief State Solicitor’s Office were also bitterly disappointed at what they said was “effectively … a significant cut” after inflation and government pay deals were accounted for.

In pre-budget correspondence, the Attorney General said they wanted to express their “surprise and concerns” that they had only been allocated €23.8 million, “significantly below” what they had been seeking.

The AG’s office had prepared what they said was a “substantial business case” for additional staff to meet commitments made by government and increased demand for their services.

However, they said while they appreciated this expansion might need further consideration, the budget allocation they were given would compromise their ability to “discharge … core functions on behalf of government”.

They warned: “An additional €750,000 is absolutely necessary in the provisional estimates to meet essential service needs in 2024, bringing the provisional 2024 Office estimate to €24.5 million.”

Subsequently, the Attorney General himself wrote directly to Minister Paschal Donohoe to make a direct plea; however, that letter has been withheld by the Attorney General’s office under FOI laws.