Belfast Telegraph

Lowry 'must consider position'

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has called on former government minister Michael Lowry to consider his position in the wake of the damning final findings of the Moriarty Tribunal.

The now independent TD has dismissed the ruling that he attempted "profound and breathtaking corruption" and stained public life with his "cynical and venal abuse" of high office.

But Mr Martin said the Tipperary North deputy should question his future in the Dail.

"I think he should consider his position in terms of the damning nature of the report," Mr Martin said.

The mammoth 2,230-page report concluded tycoon Denis O'Brien passed money to former Communications Minister Mr Lowry, who was found to have helped secure the telecoms mogul a mobile phone licence 16 years ago.

Mr Lowry, an independent TD for Tipperary North since 1997, is due to meet with advisers in Dublin.

Tribunal chairman Judge Michael Moriarty found Mr O'Brien and Mr Lowry held talks at least twice during the tender process for the state's second mobile phone licence, which was being sought by several bidders.

The tribunal said the "reprehensible" private tete-a-tete took place over half an hour in Hartigan's pub on Dublin's Leeson Street after the pair met at the All-Ireland football final in Croke Park in September 1995. But Mr O'Brien insisted he did not pass money through secretive off-shore bank accounts to Mr Lowry.

Mr Martin has called for the Dail to be reconvened on Monday to debate the report.

Party whips are expected to meet later on Wednesday, when the timing of a Dail debate is due to take centre stage.


From Belfast Telegraph