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Reilly, Noonan defend meetings with Michael Lowry

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Michael Noonan and James Reilly

Michael Noonan and James Reilly

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Two of the government ministers who met disgraced TD Michael Lowry after he was criticised by the Moriarty tribunal have defended their actions.

Responding to a report in today’s Irish Independent, Health Minister James Reilly said Michael Lowry received a third of the vote of the election in North Tipperary.

“I met him along with [other TDs] and a number of local people who were concerned about the future of St Ursula’s public nursing home in Thurles.

“I can’t refuse to meet public representatives… They have an electoral mandate from their people. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people who voted for Michael Lowry of any voice in our parliament and that would not be right.”

Mr Reilly denied that this made the censure that was put on Mr Lowry by Fine Gael look meaningless. Speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr Reilly said that Mr Lowry has a right to represent the people who voted for him, irrespective of the findings made against him by the Moriarty tribunal.

“We live in a democracy. People are elected democratically. I don’t think it would be right or proper to exclude them.”

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Mr Lowry led a delegation from Foróige at a meeting in his office. Mr Noonan also said he tried to accommodate requests for meetings from deputies from all parties.