Gene Kerrigan: The salesman versus the idealist and the rest is history
Why has RTE not examined the new evidence of where Moriarty was misled, asks Gene Kerrigan
It was January 1981, and 27-year old Michael Lowry was fighting for his political life. The Marian Hall in Borrisoleigh usually held 300, but that night there were 500 Fine Gaelers crammed inside. On the stage, the party leader, Garret FitzGerald, displayed no preference between the two contestants for the Fine Gael nomination for Tipperary North, but everyone knew Lowry wasn't his choice.
Lowry was well regarded in the party, but his equally young opponent, David Molony, was part of the new, more liberal Fine Gael that FitzGerald had been shaping since 1977. Both Lowry and Molony were from the same part of Tipperary – and the first law of Irish politics says that two candidates from the same party cannot fish in the same vote pool. If there are two candidates, they must be from different parts of the constituency. Whoever lost that night was going out of national politics.
Molony summed it up: "The reality is that we are two ambitious men, both want to make it to Dail Eireann, and the pity is that we both can't make it."