Belfast Telegraph

Lowry cannot hide, warns Taoiseach

Disgraced TD Michael Lowry cannot hide behind his mandate in the fallout from the damning Moriarty tribunal, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned.

In a hard-hitting demand for his former cabinet colleague to answer severe criticisms, Mr Kenny said the findings reeked of fanatical greed and obsessive attachment to power.

The Taoiseach told the former communications minister - a poll topper in his Tipperary North constituency - to drop the ego and sense of mandate to face up to the shocking report.

The tribunal found Mr Lowry passed classified information on the competition for the state's second mobile phone licence to billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien's successful bid made him his fortune and Mr Lowry was found to have received payments worth more than £800,000 in secret off-shore transactions and loans.

"I cannot imagine a mandate from Irish people - or true democrats anywhere - that would involve an order or desire or permission for the behaviour outlined in the report," the Taoiseach said.

The Taoiseach stopped short of demanding Mr Lowry quit politics.

The ex-minister and tax evader, forced to resign from government in 1996, sat opposite the Taoiseach during the debate with his hands clasped on his lap and gave no reaction.

Mr Kenny said Judge Michael Moriarty had detailed breathtaking attempts to acquire, use and access privilege.

"I believe this report will weary and bewilder people more than others," the Taoiseach said.

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