Thursday 21 November 2019

Gilmore heaps more pressure on Lowry to quit

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore piled the pressure on former minister Michael Lowry last night by calling on him to resign his Dail seat.

He was the second party leader to urge Mr Lowry to quit, following the remarks of Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

Mr Gilmore, who served in the 1994-1997 Rainbow Government alongside Mr Lowry as a junior minister, said he was conscious he had been re-elected by the people of his Tipperary North constituency.

"I think that a report of this seriousness about any elected person; I think he should consider resigning as a consequence of that report," he said.

And Mr Martin said the Tipperary North deputy should question his future in the Dail.

"I think he should consider his position in terms of the damning nature of the report," he said.

Mr Lowry vowed yesterday that he would not quit even though the tribunal found he had engaged in a "cynical and venal abuse of office" during the awarding of the second mobile phone licence as Communications Minister.

It also said he was involved in a "profoundly corrupt" move to get unwarranted rent increases for businessman Ben Dunne.

But Mr Lowry told RTE he would probably stand again in Tipperary North in the next general election.

Mr Gilmore was making his first public comments on the Moriarty Tribunal's final report before an awards ceremony at Dublin Castle.

He was asked if the Labour Party needed to play a watchdog role in relation to Fine Gael, which took a $50,000 donation on behalf of Esat Digifone after the firm had won the second mobile phone licence.

"I welcome the fact that Fine Gael acknowledge that could have been handled differently," he said.

Mr Gilmore admitted there would be questions to be answered in the Dail next week, but signalled his party would not be causing trouble for Fine Gael over the report's contents.

Irish Independent

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