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File photo of Elaine Byrne Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Tipp FM

Local radio station Tipp FM retracts comments made about journalist following Lowry case

Elaine Byrne is now a columnist with the Sunday Business Post newspaper.

LOCAL RADIO STATION Tipp FM has retracted comments made on one of its programmes last year about journalist and barrister Elaine Byrne’s coverage of the Michael Lowry court case in 2018. 

Lowry, an Independent Tipperary TD, was found guilty in the Circuit Criminal Court on two charges relating to tax returns for his refrigeration company, Garuda Ltd., last June. 

He and the company were fined a total of €25,000 and he was disqualified from acting as a director of the company for three years. The judge also accepted that he had no previous convictions and said he was a “conscientious tax payer”.

The case was taken after an article by Byrne appeared in the Sunday Independent concerning the TD’s finances and which led to a Revenue investigation into Lowry’s tax returns. 

Byrne, who is also a consultant on anti-corruption issues for the European Commission, filed defamation proceedings against the station on 10 May.

Yesterday, the station retracted the comments in a statement read live on the Tipp Today programme. It said: 

“Over the course of two broadcasts on Tipp FM on the 27th and 28th of June, 2018, we made reference to an interview given by Dr Elaine Byrne Sunday Business Post, barrister, lecturer and governance consultant with the European Commission, on RTE’s Morning Ireland on the 27th June 2018, in the aftermath of Mr. Michael Lowry’s court case.

“Various references were made in the course of the interview to Elaine Byrne and in particular to her capacity as a journalist. We are happy to retract those comments and apologise unreservedly to Dr Elaine Byrne whom we hold in the highest regard and who has been a guest on Tipp FM on a number of occasions”

Byrne is currently a columnist with the Sunday Business Post newspaper. 

Following yesterday’s statement from Tipp FM, she said she was pleased the station retracted the comments and that it respects her good name. 

In a statement to TheJournal.ie she said:

“I am pleased that Tipp FM have publicly acknowledged that my reputation as a columnist with the Sunday Business Post, barrister and the Irish anti-corruption consultant to the European Commission is in good standing.

“The apology was made in the context of broadcasts made by Tipp FM in the aftermath of the Michael Lowry TD tax trial of last year.”

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