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Wednesday 29 March 2017

'Sickened' Lowry no intentions of quitting Dail

Speaking for the first time since the Moriarty report was published, Michael Lowry said he was "sickened and saddened" by the findings, which he insisted were not grounded in evidence or fact.

"I'm extremely disappointed that he [Judge Michael Moriarty] would have used the latitude which tribunals have to effectively form opinions which to me are deeply hurtful and offensive," he said.

"He has taken liberty with my reputation and the reputation of almost every other witness, including senior experienced civil servants."

Mr Lowry, now an Independent TD who topped the poll in his Tipperary North heartland last month, broke his silence on local radio station Tipp FM.

In a hard-hitting defence, he accused the tribunal of ignoring and dismissing evidence from key witnesses.

Mr Lowry said the case against him was "threadbare" and went on to claim that he had been smeared by the tribunal findings.

"I have never received any money from Denis O'Brien and I have never received any money from anybody on his behalf," he said.

Mr Lowry added: "I'm saying the report is unfactual."

Rejected

Poll topper Mr Lowry flatly rejected calls for him to quit the Dail.

"I've not the slightest intention of doing that. I have absolutely done nothing wrong," he said.

"(Judge) Moriarty has put fake substance to a report which was tired. He has given 14 years at it, he has cost the taxpayers millions in money.

"He sat above in Dublin Castle for 14 years. He allowed his barristers to be paid €2,250 a day or €54,000 a month.

"They stuffed their bank accounts with it, they became millionaires, they tortured me in the process and now they come up with a limp report which is not based on substance which was not based on facts and which would not stand up in any court of law.

"This report has no basis in law. This report was the opinion of one man."

Mr Lowry suggested he had been victimised after opening up his personal finances, his mother's bank accounts, those belonging to his three children and the financial affairs of friends and associates.

"I was able to explain to them every lodgement, every debit, every entry to my bank over that 20-year period," he said.

"When this tribunal started everybody had the impression, and the media created the impression, that Lowry had a pot of gold, that I had secret millions hidden some place.

"They went around, they examined every financial institution, not just in Ireland but throughout the world.

"I gave them a waiver - 'Go where you like, look where you like, there is nothing to find because there is nothing there'."

Mr Lowry was found to have received money from Mr O'Brien using offshore accounts, loan arrangements and payments.

The cash totalling more than £800,000 at the turn of the century helped finance three property deals in Blackrock, Dublin and Cheadle in Cheshire and Mansfield in Derbyshire in England, the tribunal found.

But Mr Lowry slammed the report: "They have given the misleading impression that I got money from those transactions. I received absolutely zilch from them.

"So there is no money trail. The money trail that they were expecting to find ran into the sand."

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