From top: Independent TD Micheal Lowry (third from right) with his political team John ‘Rocky’ McGrath, his son Micheál Lowry, Michael O’Meara, Shane Lee and Eddie Moran who all won seats in the local elections in Tipperary; a supposed fan of Lowry in Jamaica
Tipperary Independent TD Michael Lowry (centre) leaving the Central Criminal Court in Dublin this afternoon after he and his refrigeration company Garuda were found guilty of filing an incorrect corporation tax return for year ending 2006 and for failing to keep proper books of account. He was fined €15,00
Lowry delighted that Judge Martin Nolan called him “a conscientious taxpayer” in his sentencing remarks.
From top: Labour TD Brendan Howlin and Independent TD Michael Lowry
In the last few minutes.
Independent TD Michael Lowry responded to comments made earlier by Labour leader and TD Brendan Howlin in relation to Leo Varadkar securing Mr Lowry’s support for his nomination to the position of Taoiseach and the recent contact between the pair.
Mr Howlin said:
“I note today that you will be supported by Deputy [Michael] Lowry. I’m informed that you’ve spoken to Deputy Lowry on a couple of occasions in recent days and I read in this week’s Tipperary Star that Deputy Lowry has claimed that, in return for his support, he will have access to your office, as Taoiseach, to your officials and to your ministers.As Taoiseach, I hope you will put at end to such contact. You should not depend on his support.”
In his response, Mr Lowry said:
“Deputy Howlin, I consider your comments here today to be nasty and offensive. I have absolutely no doubt, and I’m in this house for 30 years, that your actions and your words were prompted by your deputy from Tipperary, Deputy Alan Kelly because they’d be very typical of his reaction to me in my county.
“When you attack me in such a manner, as you did today, you insult the people of Tipperary, the people who vote for me, as an elected representative from this House. And I remind you Deputy Howlin that, like every member of this House here today, I have a democratic mandate from the people of Tipperary who have voted for me consistently and put me as their representative in this House.
“I have enjoyed their confidence and their trust for over 30 years and I hope when the next election is called, they’ll re-endorse me as a member of this parliament for the constituency of Tipperary.”
“And, finally, I would say to you, Deputy Howlin, that I have exactly the same entitlements to access the system of Government as any other member of this House. My telephone conversations with Taoiseach-elect Varadkar were on the basis of the Programme for Government, for the policies which I was hoping that he would support.
“And on the basis of those two discussions that I had with him, I’m very happy to support him as Taoiseach and to continue to support this Government, particularly on budgetary matters because it’s not possible, as members of a parliament, to be clambering every other day for resources and monies to be spent on particular projects if you’re not prepared to stand up and to take the budgetary measures that are necessary to make sure there are funds available to implement the policies you seek.”
Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy also had something to say about Michael Lowry’s support for Leo Varadkar, saying she finds it difficult to be…
“…preached to about budget responsibility by someone who’s been in the courts and who’s been with Revenue in relation to his own tax affairs. It’s hardly the kind of ethical, you know, ethical behaviour that should exemplify the kind of rebuilding of this country.”
Dublin City University Professor Colum Kenny said while he did not view the potential take over [Of Celtic media by Denis O’Brien’s Independent News and Media] in personal terms, he said he had “difficulties” appearing before a committee looking at the take over of INM on which Mr [Michael’ Lowry sits.
“I think there’s a conflict of interest“, he said.
He also expressed concern over the lack of “firm details” regarding the takeover and said such circumstances made it difficult to give an informed position.
Prof Kenny said he did not understand how the committee had been asked to make a consideration of a matter before the Broadcasting Authority
Then Fine Gael Communications Minister Michael Lowry and Denis O’Brien in 1997
Elaine Loughlin, in The Irish Examiner, reports:
The National Union of Journalists have written to the Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Environment asking that Mr Lowry “recuse himself” from all discussions around the acquisition of the Celtic Media Group of local newspapers by Independent News and Media.
The committee met in private yesterday to discuss this letter, but they were told that they do not have the power to ask him to step aside.
…Committee members received legal advice during the meeting and were told that Mr Lowry cannot be asked to excuse himself.
It is understood TDs and senators were told while Mr Lowry could recuse himself if he believed there was a conflict of interest, members do not have the power to demand or even ask he step aside during the hearings.
The modular hospital being proposed for South Tipperary General Hospital as an interim solution to over-crowding, could be up and running within six weeks of commencement, writes Noel Dundon.
The unit, which has been put forward following extensive behind-the-scenes work by Deputy Michael Lowry and senior consultants at the hospital would cost the HSE in the region of €60,000 per week, fully staffed etc.
It would mean the provision of forty en-suite rooms to be used for pre and post-op preparation and recovery according to Deputy Michael Lowry who has been conducting intensive behind the scenes negotiations with the HSE and Miister Simon Harris.
This morning Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said:
“I really wouldn’t like to see a Government that’s dependent on any Independent. Because if we’re back to that, we’re back to the kind of parish pump deals that existed in the past. Fine Gael has never actually engaged in them, only Fianna Fáil has historically and, of course, the last time Michael Lowry was involved in such a deal it was with Fianna Fáil. And there are a number of Independent TDs who have issues with the law including Mr Lowry, but others too. AndI’d hate to see a Government dependent on somebody not having to be in court or, potentially, being in prison.”