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Michael Lowry speaking in the Dail on Tuesday Screengrab
Michael Lowry

Michael Lowry says 'slanderous, vicious, malicious, vindictive, false allegations' were made in Dáil about his tax affairs

The Independent TD called on Paul Murphy TD to withdraw his comments.

TIPPERARY TD MICHAEL Lowry stood up in the Dáil last night during the failed vote of no confidence in Eoghan Murphy to address what he claimed were ”slanderous, vicious, malicious, vindictive and false allegations” about his tax affairs.

During the debate, Rise TD Paul Murphy had said that the government was relying on the support of “liar and convicted tax cheat Michael Lowry” in order to win the vote. 

Lowry told the Dáil: “I want to put it on the record of this House that I am not a convicted tax cheat. I am not a convicted tax dodger.

“The only mark against my reputation in relation to taxation that in the year 2006 my company filed an incorrect corporation tax return.”

He claimed that it was incorrect because he had “overpaid tax”, and that he “was a very conscientious tax payer”.

Lowry requested that the Rise leader withdraw his comments, and Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher gave Murphy an opportunity to do so, but he refused.

‘Unparliamentary language’

Eoghan Murphy narrowly survived the vote by 56 votes to 53 (with 35 abstentions)  thanks to the support of Independents Lowry, Noel Grealish, and Denis Naughten. 

Speaking about the backing, Paul Murphy said the Government was being supported by  “pro-landlord, pro-development policies”, a “veritable rogues’ gallery” and “by a landlord who has used dog-whistling of a racist kind in order to distract from the true causes of the housing crisis and the party of the Galway tents and the big developers, Fianna Fail”.

The Ceann Comhairle warned him about using “unparliamentary language”, but Murphy said “cheating on taxes is fairly unparliamentary”.

Murphy also told the Minister for Housing that “you represent the same developers and landlords’ interests, you have overseen an increase in the total rents going to landlords to €13 billion this year, up from €5.5 billion [a year] in 2009.”

In June 2018, Lowry and his refrigeration company Garuda Ltd were fined €25,000 for tax offences after a jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted them on two charges each for delivering an incorrect corporation tax return and failing to keep proper set of accounts.

Lowry previously settled a €1.4 million tax bill in 2007 on behalf of Garuda.

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