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Transparency International welcomes CAB investigation into payments to Michael Lowry T.D.

Dublin, 29 March 2011 - Transparency International (TI) Ireland has welcomed the announcement that the Criminal Assets Bureau has begun an investigation into the finances of Tipperary North TD Michael Lowry T.D. following the release of the Moriarty report last week.


Mr Justice Moriarty found that businessman, Denis O'Brien, had made payments to Michael Lowry of £147,000 and £300,000 in the 1990s. The report also found that Mr O'Brien supported a loan for Lowry which amounted to a benefit equivalent of £420,000 in December 1999. Denis O'Brien won the competition for the State's second mobile phone licence in 1995 and the tribunal claimed that Michael Lowry, who was Minister for Communications at the time, “secured the winning” of the licence for O'Brien.

Welcoming the announcement of the CAB investigation, CEO John Devitt said: “It is good news that the Criminal Assets Bureau has moved so quickly to investigate Michael Lowry's finances following Justice Moriarty's report.

“Ultimately it may be the courts that decide on the facts of the case, however if sufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing is uncovered by the Criminal Assets Bureau, criminal as well as civil prosecutions will likely follow. If the High Court was to rule that profits have arisen from corrupt transactions, those profits would also be seized by the CAB” said John Devitt, Chief Executive of Transparency Ireland.


ENDS


See also 24/03/11: Transparency International Ireland calls for Irish and Norwegian investigations into payments to Fine Gael and former Communications Minister http://www.transparency.ie/news_events/moriarty2.htm


And 24/03/11: Frequently asked questions about corruption law in Ireland and the Moriarty Tribunal

http://www.transparency.ie/news_events/faqscorruptionlaw.htm


Media Contact: John Devitt, Tel: 086 173 5040 Email info@transparency.ie