Denis O’Brien accuses Lucinda Creighton of ‘self-serving’ attacks

Businessman says Renua leader ‘failed to ascertain the facts’ about Topaz contract

Billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien has accused Renua leader Lucinda Creighton of "self-serving" attacks on him following a Dáil speech in which she demanded action on the findings of the Moriarty tribunal.

In her speech, Ms Creighton said five years had passed since the tribunal found it was "beyond doubt" that former Fine Gael minister Michael Lowry had "imparted" substantive information to Mr O'Brien which was of "significant value and assistance to him" in securing Ireland's second mobile telephone licence in the mid-1990s.

In a letter on October 23rd last, Mr O’Brien, who signed it himself and sent it from his Dublin office – “Seventh Floor, One Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2 – said Ms Creighton had raised an Irish Mail on Sunday report that claimed he had given a Topaz refrigeration contract to Mr Lowry’s company.

“It is most regrettable that you failed to ascertain the facts before making this statement. For the record, the factual situation is the process for this contract began in 2013; the appointment letter was issued on February 6th.


“Of critical importance is that I did not take ownership of Topaz until March 24th, 2014. The only inference I can draw from your reference to Topaz is an eagerness to sacrifice the facts for the purpose of self-promotion,” Mr O’Brien complained.

Challenging Ms Creighton’s description of the Moriarty tribunal report, Mr O’Brien said: “It is abundantly clear that your motivation again here is self-serving. I find it extremely curious that when I set out the full facts in a letter to you on March 28th, 2012, you clearly had no dispute with any of them.”

In that 2012 letter Mr O’Brien wrote to Ms Creighton: “I did not make any payments to Mr Michael Lowry TD.”

The tribunal, at paragraph 61.274, page 1152, part II, volume 2, stated Mr O’Brien was “a person who made payments to Mr Lowry”.

The 2012 letter went on to argue the tribunal findings – opinions, Mr O’Brien termed them – were “completely devoid of legal effect”.

October letter

Mr O’Brien’s October 23rd letter returned to this theme.

“My position as to the findings of the Moriarty tribunal,” he wrote, “are the same as they were on the day the report was published – they are (as stated in my letter to you) opinions with no basis in fact.”

He continued: “It is regrettable that you, as both a public representative and a lawyer, prefer to misrepresent the fact for self-advantage.”

The letter is signed, “yours sincerely, Denis O’Brien”.

Ms Creighton’s office had no comment to make last night.

Mr O'Brien is currently engaged in several High Court actions, including an action against a Dublin-based public relations consultancy, Red Flag, which he has claimed in court is at the centre of an unlawful conspiracy to defame him and undermine his businesses.

In a separate action against the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges, Mr O'Brien claims it failed to uphold his constitutional right to his good name by not reprimanding TDs for allegedly abusing Oireachtas privileges.

Mr O'Brien objects to comments made about him by, among others, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, who raised questions about Mr O'Brien's banking arrangements with IBRC, the successor bank to Anglo Irish Bank.

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh is a contributor to The Irish Times