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Lowry gets two slots in Dáil debate over Moriarty Tribunal

Meanwhile, the opposition has criticised the government’s decision for Minister Pat Rabbitte to take questions instead of the Taoiseach.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

MICHAEL LOWRY HAS been granted 40 minutes speaking time in the Dáil today to deal with issues arising from the Moriarty Tribunal report published last week, which he has dismissed as “the opinions of one individual”.

The Tribunal criticised Lowry’s role in the awarding of a state mobile phone licence to Esat Digifone, saying he was “far from being a disinterested minister” and said his personal accounts “disclosed palpably inadequate book-keeping”.

Yesterday, the North Tipperary TD said he wanted a 45-50 minute slot with which to make a personal statement before answering questions and a second time slot to make another address after questions.

He said he wanted the opportunity to give his views on the 14-year-long Tribunal inquiry and on the findings he says “are not substantiated in an evidentiary trail” and the 30 minutes speaking time initially offered to him was not sufficient.

Lowry said yesterday that he has no intention of giving up his Dáil seat and “nobody will decide when I leave this house”. He added: “Michael Lowry is not going anywhere.”

The government has been criticised for deciding that Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte will take questions at the end of the debate instead of Taoiseach Enda Kenny or any of the other ministers who served alongside Lowry in the rainbow coalition.

The two-day debate will open at around 5pm this evening and each party leader will have the opportunity to speak. Lowry will be allocated time is for making a personal statement after the debate opens, and to respond to questions from the chamber.

Read: Michael Lowry: Nobody will decide when I leave the Dáil

Read: Gardaí say there is no ongoing investigation into Moriarty phone ‘tapping’ claims

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