Lowry says £250,000 had been declared
The independent TD for Tipperary North Michael Lowry has denied making a £250,000 sterling payment from money that was not declared to the Revenue Commissioners.
Mr Lowry was responding to the publication in the Sunday Independent yesterday of what it said was the transcript of a conversation between him and businessman Kevin Phelan on September 30th, 2004.
The newspaper said the recording of the phone call was made by Mr Phelan and given by him to the newspaper. Yesterday Mr Phelan told The Irish Times that he made a number of recordings around 2004 “in order to protect myself”.
He would not comment further.
In the transcript Mr Lowry and Mr Phelan discuss matters to do with the Moriarty tribunal and its decision to conduct an inquiry into the 1998 purchase of Doncaster Rovers Football Club (DRFC).
Mr Phelan, a property scout based in Omagh, Co Tyrone, was involved in the deal. In September 2004, the businessman Denis O’Brien had issued proceedings in the High Court seeking to stop the tribunal inquiry.
In the transcript Mr Lowry pleads with Mr Phelan not to mention a payment of £250,000 because he “never declared it”.
He said that if the payment was revealed “I’m f***ing ruined. I’m bankrupt.”
He also said he was concerned that the payment could be portrayed as being linked to the Doncaster deal.
Mr O’Brien told the tribunal the £4.3 million deal was his and had nothing to do with Mr Lowry, who said the same.
In a short statement yesterday, Mr Lowry referred to the “alleged taped telephone conversation”. He also said: “The payment referred to in the Sunday Independent was made by my company, Garuda Ltd, on my behalf.
“That transaction was properly recorded and accounted for in the records and accounts of Garuda Ltd. The payment referred to is fully tax compliant.” In the transcript Mr Lowry said the payment had to do with a company called Vineacre, which was not investigated by the Moriarty tribunal.