Lowry spread rumour about ex-Taoiseach in bid process
DISGRACED former minister Michael Lowry spread a scurrilous rumour about former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and a rival consortium to help Esat Digifone secure the second mobile phone licence.
The Irish Independent has learned that Mr Lowry told the then Taoiseach John Bruton that Mr Reynolds would receive a 'nest egg' if Esat rivals Persona won the licence.
Mr Bruton made a note of the conversation as Mr Lowry told him of the rumour in March 1995. He later made it available to the Moriarty Tribunal.
The incident is referred to in the Moriarty report where Mr Reynolds was identified as "a former prominent Fianna Fail politician". However, sources have confirmed to the Irish Independent that Mr Lowry told Mr Bruton that Mr Reynolds was the politician who would receive the 'nest egg'.
An angry Mr Reynolds told the Irish Independent yesterday that he had not heard about the rumours.
"That's total nonsense," said the former Taoiseach. "They had no reason to say that, I didn't know Persona and it's a smear on my good name."
John Bruton said he had not been influenced against Mr Reynolds or the Persona bid by Mr Lowry's claims.