'Yesterday's man' planning to battle on in centre stage for some time to come
Fined €25,000 and banned as a director, Michael Lowry remains angry at the Revenue's approach, writes Liam Collins
Towards the end of his 1997 book Thanks a Million Big Fella, Sam Smyth concluded: "Then there's Michael Lowry, who after suffering personal and political disgrace faces financial ruin and possibly prison... Michael Lowry was yesterday's man before he was 44 years old."
On Tuesday last, 21 years after those words were published, the Independent TD for Tipperary walked out of the Central Criminal Court in Dublin a free man. A €25,000 fine and a three-year disqualification as a director trailed after him, but so did the words of Judge Martin Nolan, describing him as a "conscientious taxpayer".
He may not have scaled the greasy pole to the ultimate political office that seemed to beckon all those years ago, but silver-haired, tanned, still fit-looking in a well-tailored blue suit, Michael Lowry stood on the steps of the court with the judge's unusual endorsement still fresh in his ears: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating - he has been re-elected."