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Monday 20 November 2017

Lowry breach of ethics probe is put on hold

TD 'didn't declare' interest in company

Sam Smyth

Investigations into disgraced former minister Michael Lowry for an alleged breach of Dail ethics regulations will have to be put on hold.

The Independent TD for Tipperary North faces an inquiry for his apparent failure to declare his directorship in a company to the Dail register of members' interests.

But any probe into the alleged breach of Dail rules cannot go ahead until a Committee on Members' Interests of Dail Eireann is formed.

Mr Lowry did not declare his 25pc interest in Dublin-based company GDLC Business Consultants Ltd, first registered in August 2009.

Mr Lowry's directorship in the company was not included in his returns to the Register of Members' Interests for 2009 or 2010. The guidelines for members' interests to ensure compliance with the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and 2001 has a specific entry on directorships: "A directorship or shadow directorship of any company held by you at any time during the registration period concerned."


A spokesman for the Oireachtas said last night that the committee has yet to be appointed. A government minister said yesterday that he did not know when the committee would be appointed.

Mr Lowry said the company, in which he holds 25pc of the equity, was just a shelf company that has never traded and that he had withdrawn from the company.

However there is no notification of his withdrawal from GDLC Business Consultants Ltd in the files of the Companies Registration Office. The company has never filed accounts to the Companies Registration Office.

The other directors listed in the registration of the company are Sean Devine, a Northern Ireland-based property developer, businessman Peter Cassidy of Bray, County Wicklow, and Dermot Gaskin of Malahide, County Dublin.

Mr Devine is a former business partner of Kevin Phelan, a businessman based in County Tyrone. Mr Phelan was mentioned in evidence at the Moriarty Tribunal in property transactions in England involving Mr Lowry and businessman Denis O'Brien.

Meanwhile Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday denied holding meetings with Mr Lowry to seek his support for the Fine Gael-Labour coalition. Mr Kenny also insisted the Government had no arrangement with Mr Lowry in return for his own nomination as Taoiseach.

Irish Independent

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