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Denis O'Brien leaves the Moriaty Tribunal at Dublin Castle after questioning in 2003. Haydn West/PA Archive
Moriarty Tribunal

O'Brien dismisses Moriarty findings as "fundamentally flawed"

The chief of the Esat telephone consortium says the findings of the Tribunal are based on the opinions of its legal team.

The following is the full text of a statement released on behalf of Denis O’Brien, in response to the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal being published this morning.

My initial reaction to the final report from the Moriarty Tribunal is that is that it is fundamentally flawed for the simple reason that it is based on the opinions and theories of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and his legal team.

It is extremely disturbing that the Chairman of this Tribunal would choose to ignore the sworn evidence of the Department of Communication, Department of Finance, 17 civil servants, five Government Ministers, two barristers from the Office of the Attorney General, one former Taoiseach, one Senior Counsel to the Irish State and Professor Michael Andersen, Principal of AMI – the internationally-renowned world experts in this field.

It is also of great concern to the reputation of this country that the Civil Service which is unique for the respect it has earned over many decades has been impugned and discredited by the findings which are without foundation.

I wish to state in the most categoric terms once again that I never made any payment to Michael Lowry in his capacity as a government minister, as a public representative or as a private citizen.

It is worth noting that the Chairman of the Tribunal, a High Court Judge of many years, admitted last year to making “two not insignificant errors”, both of which had been used to substantiate false theories. I believe it is unprecedented in the history of this country that a High Court judge would make such fundamental errors which went to the heart of the credibility and integrity of a Tribunal process.

The reason these errors were admitted was only because they had been uncovered by the diligent work of members of the legal profession.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the Chairman makes no reference to the concealment of crucial correspondence by the Tribunal from the office of the Attorney General over an 8-year period.

It has been evident from the outset to me and to many other witnesses before this Tribunal that the final report would be designed to damage the reputations of many reputable people.

I believe it is now incumbent on the judiciary to investigate the conduct of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and the Tribunal legal team for the manner in which they conducted themselves.

It is my intention to study the report in detail today and I will deal with specific issues comprehensively later today.

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