Statement from Dermot Desmond

Tuesday 22 March 2011 19.17
Dermot Desmond
Dermot Desmond

The Moriarty Tribunal has not been investigating any wrongdoing on my part and the following observations are given as someone intimately involved in the Tribunal process over the last thirteen years.

The central issue is whether the integrity of the GSM mobile licence process was breached by Mr Michael Lowry or any other politician.

The process was adjudicated on by fifteen to twenty civil servants with an independent consultant and independently decided on, without the involvement of Michael Lowry or any other politician.

The civil servants involved are persons of the highest integrity from different Departments, different backgrounds, different skill sets and different counties in Ireland. These civil servants have no vested interest.

Each of the civil servants gave testimony under oath that Mr. Lowry had not suborned or attempted to suborn them or the process. No evidence was put forward to the contrary.

I encourage the investigative journalists to review the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

In the absence of any political interference in the adjudication process, any interactions which may or may not have taken place between Denis O'Brien and Michael Lowry are just side shows to the central issue of the award of the licence.

From the outset Moriarty adopted a position to prosecute a case rather than act as an independent investigator. In my own case the civil servants had received legal clearance, from the Attorney General, concerning my involvement in the Esat Digifone consortium.

The Tribunal ignored this clearance for over seven years, publicly misrepresented the position of the Attorney General and only recently acknowledged its serious 'error' in this regard.

The Tribunal because of the length of time it has taken, and the cost of its investigations, has now a vested interest in achieving a 'result'.

This Tribunal has rejected evidence where it did not suit its end and has described reputable witnesses appearing before it in disparaging terms. From the outset it is my belief that the Tribunal has been prejudicial in its approach.

At over 1500 pages the Moriarty Report is the most lengthy and expensive comic ever produced.

The legislation has now been changed to provide for a better means of enquiry into issues of public concern and this is not before time. For my part I have issued High Court proceedings against the Tribunal because of the manner in which it has handled issues directly affecting me, albeit that I was not under investigation by the Tribunal.

I make these observations so lessons may be learnt for the future as to how tribunals are organised and made accountable.