Minister Information

Michael Lowry

Michael Lowry (born 13 March 1953) is an Irish independent politician who has served as a Teachta Dála (TD) since 1987, currently for the Tipperary constituency. He previously served as Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications from 1994 to 1996 and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party from 1993 to 1994.Lowry is a former Chairman of the Fine Gael party and was Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications between 1994 and 1996. He resigned from his ministry in some controversy. Fine Gael barred him from standing for the party again. Thereafter he ran as an Independent candidate and has maintained his seat in the Dáil ever since. The Moriarty Tribunal concluded ″beyond doubt″ that Lowry was a tax evader and had assisted businessman Denis O’Brien’s Esat Digifone consortium in acquiring a lucrative mobile phone licence in the mid-1990s, during Lowry’s time as Communications Minister. O’Brien went on to become one of the richest men in Ireland.Lowry initiated a defamation lawsuit against an Irish Independent journalist, Sam Smyth, over an article that Smyth had written regarding the Moriarty Tribunal as well as comments that Smyth made on a TV3 show. The lawsuit was thrown out of several courts and Lowry was ordered to pay Smyth’s legal costs. More recently his relationship with Kevin Phelan has come under scrutiny, with the emergence of a recorded conversation in which Lowry claims to have made an undeclared payment of €250,000.