| 15.6°C Dublin

Eamon Keane: Things work differently on Planet Lowry -- but we live in the real world

Welcome to Planet Michael. It's been some trip, but it is now in the same orbit as Planet Bertie and Planet CJ.

You see Michael Lowry, Bertie Ahern and CJ Haughey have one distinguishing feature. All three have a complete inability to admit they ever did anything wrong. Equally, any problem is always someone else's fault. Just listen back to Lowry's interview with Sean O'Rourke on RTE.

The Tipperary man has spent the last two days blaming the Tribunal Judge. "Deeply hurtful and offensive" and "Chinese torture" was his assessment.


Even if the judge got everything wrong -- and the evidence suggests otherwise -- Lowry still behaved in ways that could only damage himself and others.

But, like Bert and Co, it's another case of blame the messenger. Remember how Bertie felt a Tribunal judge had it in for him? So did C J Haughey, who lumped the media into the offending pack for good measure.

This persecution complex is linked to another area of psychology. Self-delusion. It is possible for any of us to delude ourselves into thinking we've done nothing wrong.

Keep telling yourself this often enough and eventually you believe it. Unfortunately you and I and the rest of the Irish public have to live in reality.

We have to live in a world where we don't have the access to power that Lowry had. We've had it up to here listening to the whinging of people we elect to positions of trust. And we are sick to death of it always being someone else's fault, from Judge to Jury.

Planet Michael has other similarities with Planet Bertie. Bert insists he never asked anyone for money. Those who gave him 'dig-outs' insist there was no favour sought. Lowry says he never asked for nor received monies from businessman Denis O'Brien.

O'Brien is also categorical that he never initiated any payment to Lowry. The Tribunal, however, says that hundreds of thousands of pounds were routed between the two through a variety of convoluted transactions.

Michael and CJ Haughey have both also had run-ins with the tax authorities. Lowry, like CJ, evaded paying tax by means of off-shore accounts.

And Lowry and de Bert have one other key similarity: their concern for other Tribunal witnesses.

The Tipperary TD keeps saying that all the civil servants have been besmirched by Moriarty. But have they? Moriarty gives out about the system but never says the civil servants lied. In fact, in his report Moriarty says such accusations are 'groundless and uninformed.'

Remember how Bertie made much hullabaloo about how his constituency secretary Grainne Carruth was put through the ringer by the Tribunal? Well Bertie put her in that position by means of his own antics. Like getting her to make £15,000 in sterling deposits. She was a completely innocent person forced to take the stand.

It is a clever diversionary tactic. Lowry sprouts concern for the good name of the civil servants. However, if he cared about them so much, why did he hold offshore accounts when he was their boss?

When did he tell them about his meeting with Denis O'Brien at a crucial stage of the licence process? With parallels to the famous Anglo Golf outing, both parties swear they never discussed key sensitive issues at the meeting. The Tribunal has taken a different view.


Let's be clear. The Tribunal did not arise from any civil servants' action. It arose in the context of investigations into payments to politicians.

Don't forget, Michael Lowry had to leave Fine Gael for previous evasions relating to his tax matters arising from his relationships with businessmen. And remember that he never told the Dail, during a key debate, about his offshore accounts. Hard to believe him now.

From Offshore Michael to Planet Michael it has been some trip. Out of this world you might say.

Blog: www.citizenkeane.ie Twitter: @eamonbkeane