Saturday 16 December 2017

Lowry summons faithful in show of force

Michael Lowry arriving at meeting in the Anner Hotel in Thurles last night to discuss the tribunal
Michael Lowry arriving at meeting in the Anner Hotel in Thurles last night to discuss the tribunal

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

PARISH pump politics is going nowhere -- even after a groundbreaking election.

The Lowry faithful were summoned to the Anner Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary last night, and in an astonishing show of loyalty, over 300 turned up for the last-minute meeting.

Damning revelations from the final report of the Moriarty Tribunal on the disgraced former Fine Gael minister prompted him to hold the crisis meeting to answer questions from his supporters.

Men and women donned 'Lowry' baseball caps and filed into the hotel before the TD's arrival shortly after 9pm.

Tipperary has seen it all before -- and the majority of Lowry voters are not for turning.

The meeting was opened by Mr Lowry's director of elections, Michael Collins, who introduced the independent TD.

The crowd got on their feet and clapped and cheered as Mr Lowry made his way to the top table. "Go on Lowry," they roared as he took to the podium.

A look of relief spread across Mr Lowry's face as he expressed gratitude for the "goodwill, loyalty and commitment" shown to him. He condemned the Moriarty Tribunal as a "trial" but said seeing his supporters in the face of such adversity was "hugely uplifting".

After his opening words, Mr Lowry said he had to leave briefly to speak to reporters -- who had "invited themselves" along.

"Out, out, out," Mr Lowry's supporters shouted as the media left the room.

Before the 1997 General Election, Lowry organised a similar gathering. He canvassed every man, woman and child in his constituency as a major scandal was debated in the national media. The north Tipperary electorate is not naive -- they were fully aware of the serious allegations being made against their TD since the mid-1990s. Lowry was forced to quit the cabinet table in November 1996 after it emerged that supermarket tycoon Ben Dunne splashed out hundreds of thousands on an extension to his lavish home in Holycross.

Irish Independent

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