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Lowry declares land of "negligible value" after 83 complaints

His change of mind came a week after he had declared the land as having no value.

Independent TD Michael Lowry (file photo)
Independent TD Michael Lowry (file photo)
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has now declared land in Wigan in the UK which he is a part owner of, after previously failing to add it to his declaration of interests.

His change of mind came after 83 complaints were received from members of the public by the Clerk of the Dáil.

Last Sunday, the columnist Elaine Byrne wrote a piece in the Sunday Independent in which she outlined how members of the public could lodge a complaint against the TD.

In a statement issued yesterday, Lowry said:

I wish to confirm that I have today Tuesday 6th November amended my Register of Dáil Interests to include land of negligible value held in partnership at Wigan. While under no obligation to do so I have made this entry in response to wildly inaccurate speculation regarding its value.

When speaking to Tipp FM a week ago, he had said that “the reality is that piece of land has sat still there for the last 11 years ” and believed that it was without value.

A spokesperson from the Oireachtas outlined to TheJournal.ie the steps that would now be taken in response to the complaints received:

83 complaints have been received by the Clerk of the Dáil regarding land owned by Deputy Michael Lowry. By way of background information you should note that the Clerk of the Dáil is the first port of call for complaints from persons (other than Members) about non-compliance with the Ethics Act.
The relevant section of the Ethics Act 1995 and 2001 namely Section 8(2) states “a person … who considers that a member … may have contravened sections five or seven or done a specified act may make a complaint … to the Clerk … “.
Under the same section, a complaint is referred to the Members’ Interests Committee of Dáil Éireann unless the Clerk forms the opinion that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or that there is “not sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case in relation to the complaint”.
If the complaint is rejected the Clerk is obliged to send the complainant, the member concerned and the Committee a statement of the reasons for so doing.

His interest in the land, and its potential value, came to light after an investigation by Conor Ryan of the Irish Examiner.

Read: Lowry responds to claims he failed to declare UK land interest >

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Paul Hyland

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