Originally published Friday, October 14, 2011 at 5:29 AM

Ireland's judges lose their wigs in austerity move

M'lord, I can see your bald patch.

The Associated Press

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M'lord, I can see your bald patch.

Hundreds of Ireland's judges abandoned their wigs for the first time in centuries Friday after the Irish Courts Service ended the rule requiring them to wear the British-style headgear.

The move is designed to save the taxpayer money in debt-struck Ireland. Until now, each new judge has received a London-made, white-dyed horsehair wig that costs the state about euro2,200 ($3,000) each.

Ireland is voting Oct. 27 on a constitutional amendment that would give the government new power to cut judges' salaries.

Irish judges have worn wigs since the mid-17th century and kept the policy after Ireland won independence from Britain in 1922.

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