The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

In 2005 Michael Monaghan was appointed as the sole Costs Accountant for the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (“CICA”), presided over by Mr Justice Sean Ryan. Michael continued to undertake this role with the assistance of Nick Portch under the guise of Abacus, following the company’s foundation in 2008.

Over the lifetime of the involvement of Michael and Abacus with CICA (from 2005 to 2019) third party costs claims (Complainants and Respondents) with a total value in excess of €57 million were dealt with. The amount ultimately paid by the State following negotiations and/or taxation was circa €30.5 million, an overall saving in excess of €26 million and equating to around 46.5% of the total sum claimed. It is understood that this level of savings to third party costs claims is unprecedented in comparison to savings in respect of third party costs claims in previous Tribunals and/or Commissions of Inquiry in Ireland.

Testimonial from Joe Langan, Former Secretary to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

Abacus was engaged by the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, to advise and assist on the settlement of substantial party and party legal costs submitted by the many Complainants and Respondents to the Inquiry.

As former Secretary to the Commission I worked closely with Michael Monaghan and Nick Portch for the last seven years. I was impressed by their expertise, commitment to their client, tenacity and their relentless attention to detail, which were central to the achievement of the considerable savings on the legal costs of the Commission.

The party and party legal bills of costs submitted to the Commission were both large and complex in detail. The value of these bills was in excess of €57m euro. Savings on these bills were in excess of €26m euro.

These impressive results were achieved by way of complex negotiated settlements and in a small number of cases by legal settlement through the Irish Taxing Masters of the High Court; the last of these settlements was made in late 2019. The Commission was steered successfully through these processes by Michael and Nick.

I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Abacus.

Joe Langan,
Former Secretary to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.
16 June 2020.