Willie Kealy: How Bruton's FG was saved by Lowry money
Big donors and a bank 'bailout' paved way for Fine Gael's return to power.
FINE Gael had a problem under John Bruton's leadership in 1993. The problem was money. It was not the shortage of money that the party had suffered from during years of substantial debt. It was in fact too much money.
To be more precise, there was too much money flowing into the leader's office.
At Michael Lowry's instigation, Bruton had written what was in effect a begging letter to 100 heads of industry and commerce and construction. It proved a great success and soon sizeable donations were arriving in the leader's post on an almost daily basis. This was the problem.