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Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann publishes report following an Investigation into a Complaint concerning Deputy Michael Lowry

The Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann today reported on its investigation into a complaint concerning Deputy Michael Lowry received by the Committee from Deputy Luke Ming Flanagan.

The complaint alleged three breaches of the Ethics in Public Office Acts by Deputy Lowry T.D., to the effect that Deputy Lowry:
(i) failed to declare in the Register of Interests a  registrable shareholding in Abbeygreen Consulting Ltd. in respect of the years 2009-2011;
(ii) failed to declare in the Register of Interests a  registrable shareholding in Garuda Ltd. in respect of the years 2009-2011;  and
(iii) failed to register (for the years 2006-2011) that he was the beneficial owner of 11 acres of land at Gortnahoe, Two-Mile-Borris, Co. Tipperary.
Regarding Abbeygreen Consulting Ltd. and in respect of 2009, the Committee found that Deputy Lowry contravened section 5 of the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 (as amended by the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001) by failing to declare his shareholding .  The Committee found that the contravention was inadvertent;  was, in all the circumstances, a minor contravention and that Deputy Lowry had acted in good faith.   The Committee accepted Deputy Lowry’s submitted evidence to the effect that: having registered his Directorship in both Abbeygreen Consulting Ltd and Garuda Ltd, he had inadvertently thought he had acted in compliance with his obligations.
The Committee found that that the contravention was continuing and decided that Deputy Lowry must, within 28 days, take the necessary steps to amend his entry in the Register of Interests for 2009 in order to secure compliance with the Acts.   At the expiration of the 28 day period, the Committee will consider whether, in all the circumstances, it is appropriate that a motion be moved in the House, specifying such action as the Committee may consider appropriate.
Regarding Abbeygreen Consulting Ltd.  and in respect of 2010 and 2011, the Committee found that Deputy Lowry did not have a registrable shareholding. This part of the complaint was, therefore, not upheld.
Regarding  Garuda Ltd. and in respect 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Committee found  that Deputy Lowry contravened section 5 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, as amended, by failing to declare a registrable shareholding.  The Committee found that the contravention was inadvertent; was, in all the circumstances, a minor contravention and that Deputy Lowry had acted in good faith.  The Committee noted that the contravention was not continuing as Deputy Lowry had amended his entry in the Register of Interests during 2012 in respect of this shareholding for the years in question.
Regarding the lands at Gortnahoe, the Committee found that  Deputy Lowry was not in breach of the Acts. This aspect of the complaint was therefore not upheld.
The report can be found at http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/oireachtasbusiness/committees_list/dailmembersinterests/

ENDS/
Further Information: Verona Ni Bhroinn, Press and Public Relations Officer, 087 2624132