Michael Lowry faces multimillion euro-bill for legal costs

High Court rejects TD’s efforts to have the State pay his Moriarty tribunal legal bills

 Michael Lowry, pictured at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Courts Collins

Michael Lowry, pictured at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Courts Collins

 

Michael Lowry is facing costs of “several million” euro, after the High Court rejected his efforts to get the State to pay legal bills incurred at the Moriarty tribunal.

In turning down Mr Lowry’s complaint against the decision of the tribunal to award him only one-third of his costs, Mr Justice John Hedigan said the tribunal might well have withheld all of Mr Lowry’s costs, or even have ordered him to pay part of the tribunal’s own costs.

He described the tribunal’s findings as a “litany of falsification and deception” by Mr Lowry that included the falsification of a solicitor’s files, perjury, and “bribery of a potential witness to support Mr Lowry’s false evidence”.

Appeal

“This is an issue that will be subject to vigorous challenge in the appellate court.”

During the court hearing last year, lawyers for Mr Lowry said his overall costs bill was “vast” and would amount to several million euro.

He may now face additional costs arising from the High Court action, as losing parties usually have to foot the costs.

Mr Lowry is awaiting a ruling in a separate High Court case where he is attempting to have a criminal case against him stopped.

The criminal charges concern tax and filings made by his Thurles-based refrigeration company Garuda, trading as Streamline Enterprises.

Libel claim

Costs were awarded against Mr Lowry.

In 2007 a €1.4 million settlement with Revenue was finalised in relation to tax owed by Mr Lowry and Garuda.

Late last year Mr Lowry changed Garuda from a limited to an unlimited company, one of the consequences of which is that it no longer has to publish financial accounts.

At the end of 2014 the company had accumulated profits of €1.5 million.

Among its customers are Topaz, the petrol retailer being sold by businessman Denis O’Brien.

Topaz signed its contract with Garuda prior to Mr O’Brien gaining control of the retailer in 2013, a spokesman for the businessman said when the contract was raised in the Dáil last year.