Belfast Telegraph

Lowry hails ‘fantastic result’ as he is sentenced for tax offence

Speaking outside court, Michael Lowry said that he ‘came to court a free man and I’ll leave this court a free man’.

Irish independent TD Michael Lowry, who was found guilty of a tax offence and failing to keep proper books of an account, has described his sentencing as a “fantastic result”.

Lowry was fined 15,000 euro while his refrigeration company, Garuda Ltd, was fined 10,000 euro after he was found guilty of a tax offence and failing to keep proper books of an account between 2002 and 2007.

The charges relate to a payment of around 372,000 euro from a Finnish company, Norpe OY.

He was also disqualified as a director for three years.

Judge Martin Nolan told the Criminal Court of Justice on Tuesday that he did not consider a custodial sentence appropriate.

The court was told that the money was due to Garuda in 2002 as a commission payment.

The Irish state claimed that this was kept off the books in 2002, and instead included in the 2006 books.

Speaking outside court, Lowry said that he “came to court a free man and I’ll leave this court a free man”.

He said: “I’m thrilled for my family, for my relatives, for my staff and for the people of Tipperary who have been so loyal and steadfast in their support for me in 22 years of absolute turmoil.

It has been a fantastic result Michael Lowry

“For me today is the beginning, it has been a fantastic result and to hear the judge say I’m a conscientious taxpayer, that I’m a good public representative, that I’m a good employer, what more could I ask for.

“It has been a very traumatic time for me, I’ve been vilified, but this, today, has been the culmination of 22 years of investigation and inquiries.

“I look forward to getting back to my people of Tipperary and to enjoy the fact that I’m no longer under investigation.

“Today is a huge day of my life.

“Nobody understands unless you’re in the position of being harassed, chased and hounded by various institutions of the state.

“Fortunately I had the strength, the courage, and the reason I had was simple, I knew in my head and in my heart that I didn’t do the type of wrongs that was portrayed in such a way.”

He also thanked his solicitor Michael Collins, who he said has been with him “every step of the way”.

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