Michael Clifford asks the question as to how we got to the stage in the tribunals that "after 13 years of lawyers gobbling public money" we have "no reports in sight" (News, 7 November).

Clifford answers his own question when he says that "blame must rest squarely with the government which set up the tribunals".

The tribunals were indeed set up by the government. Their terms of reference were devised and approved by the government. The salaries and conditions of service of staff were determined by the government.

In other words, as Clifford says, "the government's loose purse strings applied" and no attempt was made to "minimise the expenses to which they were entitled".

Why, then, should we listen to hypocritical complaints from members of government about the cost of the tribunals when these costs are the direct results of their own handiwork?

A Leavy


Dublin 13