Lowry to be tried on four tax charges

Independent TD yet to enter plea but says he will vigorously contest claims

Michael Lowry, pictured at Leinster House in 2011.Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Michael Lowry, pictured at Leinster House in 2011.Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 13:16

The Independent TD for Tipperary, Michael Lowry, is to be tried in the Circuit Court for four alleged tax offences.

Three new charges relating to filing incorrect returns were brought against Mr Lowry in Thurles District Court yesterday following an earlier charge having been brought in December.

The new charges include two related to his refrigeration company, Garuda Ltd, and returns covering the company’s corporation tax.

Each of the offences can lead to fines of up to €127,000 and/or up to five years’ imprisonment.

The four charges were mentioned yesterday before Judge Elizabeth McGrath, who was told by Gerard O’Brien of the Chief State Solicitor’s office that books of evidence would be ready by February 25th.


Trial on indictment


The judge said she presumed from what was being said that the matter was to be tried on indictment, and this was confirmed by Mr O’Brien. She adjourned the matter

to February 2nd. Solicitor Michael Collins, for Mr Lowry, said his client consented.

Mr Lowry was not in court and has not yet entered a plea to the charges, but in a statement issued to the media he said he would vigorously contest the charges.

The TD claimed that the charges related to “technical breaches” alleged against him by Revenue.

Last month Mr Lowry was charged with one count of making a false income tax return in 2003 relating to the 2002 tax year.


Accounts


Yesterday a second, similar charge was filed against him, along with two relating to Garuda’s affairs. One of these was that he, as a director of Garuda, did consent or connive on or about December 22nd, 2003, to knowingly or wilfully furnish incorrect accounts in relation to corporation tax to the Thurles i

nspector of taxes for the 2002 tax period.

The other was that Mr Lowry, as a director of Garuda, did in August 2007 knowingly or wilfully furnish an incorrect return to the collector general, Dublin, in connection with corporation tax for the 2006 year.


Streamline Enterprises


A former minister for transport, energy and communications in John Bruton’s g

overnment, Mr Lowry became an Independent after resigning from government in 1996. His Garuda refrigeration business trades under the name Streamline Enterprises.

It has a premises in Thurles and its registered office is the Gables, Torquay Road, Foxrock, Co Dublin.

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