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Dáil business rearranged to give Lowry an hour's speaking time

The Dáil schedule has been dramatically shifted so that former minister Michael Lowry can have his say on the Moriarty findings.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/

THE DÁIL SCHEDULE for this week has been significantly amended so that Michael Lowry can speak for up to an hour on the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal this evening.

A two-day round of statements on the Tribunal’s findings gets underway at around 5pm this evening – but the night’s other business has been shoved off the agenda in order to make time for the under-fire independent TD.

Discussion on the Tribunal’s findings, which were published last week, was due to be put on ice at 7pm, with a Sinn Féin motion on the Universal Social Charge intended for discussion tonight and tomorrow night.

That motion has now been deferred, however, with Lowry instead being given an hour from around 7pm to air his grievances and respond, on the record, to the findings of the report.

The arrangements came after Lowry had originally been offered 20 minutes by the government benches to respond to the findings, which found that Lowry – who was a Fine Gael communications minister when Esat Digifone won Ireland’s second mobile phone licence – had “delivered” the result in Esat’s favour.

Having then been offered a half hour, Lowry insisted he required about 50 minutes to give his full response to the report’s findings.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny, meanwhile, is also set to answer questions on Fine Gael’s handling of the affair tomorrow when the debate concludes, when Lowry will also be given another 20 minute slot to respond to the statements made by other TDs.

Lowry will not, however, be given an opportunity to participate in a direct question-and-answer session in the house.

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Gavan Reilly

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