Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's new DPP will earn £181,000

By John Mulgrew

A job advertisement has appeared for a new Director of the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland.

Attorney General John Larkin is seeking applications for the prestigious post - which commands a salary of more than £181,000.

Current DPP Barra McGrory QC announced he was stepping down in May after six years in the role.

Mr McGrory was appointed DPP in November 2011, becoming the first Catholic to hold the office.

He has faced strong criticism from some people over the handling of Troubles legacy cases involving members of the security forces.

But Mr McGrory strongly defended his office against claims made by both unionists and members of the Conservative Party that prosecutors were involved in a "witch-hunt" against veterans, insisting that he had acted fairly.

Announcing his intention to step down, Mr McGrory said it was "absolutely not because of legacy".

Before he took up the post he was one of Northern Ireland's best known criminal lawyers, and he intends to return to the Bar.

He previously represented Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, but also loyalist paramilitaries and unionist politicians.

In a number of cases, the DPP has recused himself from prosecution decisions that could be perceived as being linked to his former clients.

The ad for the job states: "The role demands an individual of the highest calibre and integrity."

Those applying must have at least 10 years' experience as a member of the Bar in Northern Ireland, or be a solicitor of the Court of Judicature with 10 years' experience.

"The successful applicant will have an excellent knowledge of criminal law and practice, and the ability to apply it to the most serious and difficult cases," the job notice adds.

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