Lowry was on with Tipp casino chief architect Brian O’Connell.
Miriam O’Callaghan: “It must be nice for you, Michael Lowry, to be discussing something other than the Moriarty tribunal, is it?”
Michael Lowry: “It is, absolutely. I have to say, in relation to the Moriarty tribunal, that you’ve raised it, I mean I was very heartened and encouraged with the recent Supreme Court judgment, which stated that, you know, tribunals are the opinion of the presiding chairperson, that they have no basis in law, that they’re sterile legally, and in my situation, it’s, the opinion is not based on fact, it’s not based on evidence. And yes I am delighted to be involved in something worthwhile, something very positive, (etc., etc).”
O’Callaghan: “And you always polled so well in you local area but I suppose the thing, and I’ve often wondered it about people like you because to be honest, you know, how do you deal with, when you get out a report, I suppose like the Moriarty report, you know this yourself, just comparing it to Haughey, it’s about corruption, dishonesty, a cynical and venal abuse of power – I’m just thinking of the words – disgraceful and insidious. Just from your point of view, Michael Lowry, I know you disagreed with his findings, but how do you deal with that, and do you accept any of that criticism?”
Lowry: “Well the first thing to remember: it’s not just I that disagreed with it. The fact is that every public servant that gave evidence said that I did not involve myself in any wrongful way, and that I did not involve myself in the final process. secondly, I would say to you that the report itself, that’s the easy part miriam. the hard part was the prolonged sustained pressure over 14 years. and effectively what the supreme court judgement stated last week that tribunals are a waste of public funds. and this tribunal has been running for that period of time and I’d have to say it’s been extremely difficult for me, it has been difficult for my family. and were it not for the friendship and the loyalty and the support that I have from my people in tipperary, I would not have been able to sustain that kind of pressure and get on with my life.”
O’Callaghan: “… there are many people who feel you DID do wrong. Is there any part of you that accepts you did do wrong?”
Lowry: “The part where I did wrong was I involved myself in commercial enterprise through my business in a way that, you know, I shouldn’t have. and I made amends for that. I had a taxation issue. I dealt with – “
O’Callaghan: “Tax evasion?”
Lowry: “Yeah I dealt, I put up my hands. Well it actually wasn’t, eh, tax evasion. What happened was, through the circumstances which I was engaged in business, eh, a bill fell due to the Revenue. I accepted responsibility for that, I dealt with it. And for the record, Miriam, eh, I had a tax liability of €300,000, and I ended up paying – between tax, penalties and interest – €1.4 million. I accepted my responsibilities in that, I discharged my responsibility and I like anyone else should be allowed to get on with my life and I’ve done that.”
O’Callaghan [to O’Connell]: “Do you think it’s a positive or a negative to have Michael Lowry involved with the project?”
O’Connell: “Ha ha. I, it’s, it’s, it’s not up to me one way or the other. I mean, Michael Lowry has assisted in the process by making, giving access to ah, well, access to the public largely, and has introduced the project and has, we have presented it, ah, locally, and I think from that point of view it has been a very positive, ah, aspect of it.”
Watch show here.