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Moriarty Tribunal

Lowry lambastes Moriarty Tribunal as fatally flawed "prosecution show trial"

“I do not accept the contents of this report, and I never will,” says Lowry of the 14-year “slow Chinese torture” Tribunal.

INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has condemned the “show trial” he says he was subjected to by the Moriarty Tribunal – and slammed Justice Michael Moriarty for delivering findings which he said blatantly disregarded the sworn evidence given to him.

In an hour-long address delivered to the Dáil this evening, Lowry explosively attacked the standing of Moriarty and the “slow, Chinese torture” of the Tribunal – claiming that a litany of “grievous errors” had shown the Tribunal to be fatally flawed.

The Tribunal had continued to “move the goalposts” whenever its lines of enquiry appeared to be drying up – and had ultimately arrived at “threadbare” findings which would not have withstood argument in a pub, let alone a courtroom, Lowry claimed.

Moriarty had taken on an air of infallibility when producing his “one-sided” findings which, Lowry said, had been designed to impose the maximum hardship.

“Come hell or high water,” Lowry said, “I firmly believe that the Moriarty Tribunal could not stomach facing the Irish public… and confirm that he could not being home the process.”

To issue a report based on the evidence submitted would have led to the Tribunal would have resulted in the Tribunal being seen as “an expense failure,” the TD felt.

The report as published, he added, was full of “malicious falsehoods, cruelly stitched together” and deliberately released at the time that would cause the most political damage.

In the fullness of time, the flawed logic and prejudiced reasoning in this report will be laid bare.

“I know I will not get any glowing national and international media coverage of my tale of events,” Lowry said, “but I wish to state here and now that the report… is not factual, it contains horrendous errors, and reaches false conclusions.

“I do not accept the contents of this report, and I never will,” the defiant former communications minister asserted.

The Moriarty Tribunal is not some piece of unquestioned doctrine… I know it to be wrong, and I will not cower in some dark corner after being kicked from pillar to post for the last 14 years.

The findings of the report – produced by a “runaway Tribunal” – had “inflicted enormous damage” on Lowry’s own integrity and that of the civil service, which Lowry said was something Ireland should have been proud of.

‘Judge, jury, prosecutor, and executioner’

In particular, Lowry took issue with the claims of the Tribunal that Lowry had apparently commanded the collusion of as many as 17 senior civil servants from a number of government departments.

The publication of the report was, Lowry opined, “rough justice getting its finest hour.” Moriarty had appointed himself “judge, jury, prosecutor, and executioner” in Lowry’s case, after conducting his Tribunal in an unacceptable manner.

“A tribunal is really no more than a prosecution show trial that gets to operate without the checks and balances that are embedded into any respected court process,” Lowry claimed.

Is there any other country where the prosecution legal team would share offices with the judge, and eat with the judge, every day? … We seem to have become immune to this incredible proposition.

Lowry also lambasted the Tribunal for the number of errors he said it had made – including written rulings it had published on its website and later been forced to retract, as well as accusations in relation to Lowry’s alleged involvement in a consortium to buy Doncaster Rovers FC.

Elsewhere, the former communications minister challenged the Criminal Assets Bureau to investigate his financial affairs – saying any investigation would find a complete lack of wrongdoing.

“You can send in CAB, you can send in the army, you can send in who you like,” the Tipperary North TD said, referring to news reports that the CAB was investigating the alleged receipt of £900,000 from Esat’s Denis O’Brien.

“It was never there, and it’s not there,” Lowry asserted, adding that suggestions he had received any personal payments were based on circumstantial evidence.

Lowry also attacked TDs from all sides who had apparently believed the Tribunal’s tale of events over his own, recalling a Sunday Tribune poll of TDs and Senators from just four months ago – when two-thirds of Oireachtas members said they had no confidence in the Tribunal.

Lowry further said the evidence of international consultant Prof Michael Andersen who had been called as an expert witness to the Tribunal last November, and who Lowry said had given the all-clear to the Esat licensing process.

Listen to Lowry’s hour-long speech in full (mp3) >

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