Tuesday 25 July 2017

Report a triumph of innuendo over evidence, claims Lowry

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

DISGRACED Independent TD Michael Lowry insisted yesterday that his "conscience is clear" as he endured another day of criticisms and attacks in the Dail.

The former Fine Gael minister said the "so-called money trail goes nowhere" and claimed the Moriarty Tribunal is a "scandal of truly epic proportions".

The Independent TD for Tipperary North vowed to use every legal option available to him to clear his name of the allegations made by the tribunal report.

"There is no pot of gold at the end of some rainbow in North Tipperary or elsewhere . . . the reality is far more mundane and unimpressive," Mr Lowry told the Dail.

The former communications minister, who "secured the winning" of the 1995 mobile phone licence competition for businessman Denis O'Brien according to the tribunal report, claimed he had endured 14 years of investigation with "great strain".

"My conscience is clear. I will not apologise for something I did not do. I have a life and a career, and I will get back to it.

"I'm still standing, and I know I still have a valuable contribution to make," Mr Lowry said.

Mr Lowry made the remarks following hours of criticisms during the second day of debate on the Moriarty Tribunal report.

He vowed to remain on as a TD and said he had "no intention of quitting" ahead of today's motion of censure.

"It is a fact that no money was ever received into my bank account, my family, or any business of mine, from Denis O'Brien," Mr Lowry claimed.

"This tribunal report is a triumph of innuendo over evidence; a triumph of supposition over fact.

Ridicule

"I believe that it is truly a bad day for Ireland when citizens can be subjected to the incredible levels of ridicule and contempt that I and others have endured on the basis of unsubstantiated opinion."

During questioning of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dail last night, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin accused Fine Gael of using "deliberately covert and secretive routes" when it came to donations made to the party in the mid-90s.

This, however, was denied by Mr Kenny. Mr Kenny pledged to introduce new laws banning corporate donations as soon as possible.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said he didn't believe any member of the Dial believed they would see the day when corporate donations are banned.

Irish Independent

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