Gilmore calls on Lowry to resign


Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore has said former Fine Gael communications minister Michael Lowry should resign as a TD.

Mr Gilmore said the contents of the Moriarty tribunal report were very serious and that was why the Government had referred them to the DPP and the Garda Commissioner.

Asked if he thought Mr Lowry should resign, Mr Gilmore said: “I think he should. I think that a report of this seriousness about any elected person, I think that he should consider resigning as a consequence of that report.”

However, Mr Gilmore said he was mindful of the fact that Mr Lowry had been re-elected recently by the people of Tipperary North.

“It’s my view that any public representative, any TD, that’s the subject of criticism that Mr Lowry has been subject to in the Moriarty tribunal should consider resigning. That’s my view.”

Questioned about the $50,000 donation to Fine Gael on behalf of East Digifone immediately after the awarding of the controversial mobile phone licence in 1995, Mr Gilmore said he welcomed that Fine Gael had acknowledged that it could have been handled differently. “Such a donation now under our present law would be illegal,” he said.

The tribunal found Mr Lowry “secured the winning” of the 1995 mobile phone licence competition for businessman Denis O’Brien’s Esat Digifone. It also found Mr O’Brien made two payments to Mr Lowry in 1996 and 1999 totalling approximately £500,000 and supported a loan of £420,000stg given to Mr Lowry in 1999.

Both Mr Lowry and Mr O’Brien have rejected the tribunal’s findings.