That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the implementation of the findings of the Moriarty tribunal, to provide for an increased level of transparency in respect of the funding of political parties and independent candidates, for that purpose to amend the Electoral Act 1997 and other enactments, and to provide for related matters.
I am delighted, on behalf of Renua Ireland, to introduce and publish the Electoral (Amendment) (Moriarty Tribunal) Bill today. This Bill, if accepted, would implement all of the recommendations of the Moriarty tribunal which, unfortunately and despite promises to the contrary, have not been implemented by this Government. Is it any wonder that there is so little trust in the Government and the political system generally? It is almost five years since Mr. Justice Moriarty, in his tribunal report on payments to politicians, found that it is beyond doubt that Deputy Michael Lowry imparted substantive information to Denis O'Brien which was of "significant value and assistance to him in securing the licence". It has since emerged that there has been, for over three years, a Garda investigation following the Moriarty tribunal's findings of suspected criminality in payments to politicians. Extraordinarily, this has not yet led to an investigation file being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP. No one has yet been charged and there have been zero consequences for two of the key individuals against whom adverse findings were made. Denis O'Brien, whose massive wealth was accumulated in the aftermath of the granting of the mobile phone licence, now has ownership stakes in most of our media, in water, gas and even in sport in this country. His accumulation of wealth has brought him enormous access and influence. He has stood shoulder to shoulder with the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and other members of the Government at international events.
He has been invited by the Government to contribute to national policy think-ins. No agency of the State nor any State bank has shied away from dealing with a man whom the Moriarty tribunal found had transferred cash and benefits worth more than €1 million to the then Minister, Deputy Michael Lowry, who it is said helped Mr. O'Brien to secure the mobile telephone licence.