Lowry to get two chances to address Dáil

Tuesday 29 March 2011 12.20
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Michael Lowry - Needs 50 minutes to 'give his side of events'
Michael Lowry - Needs 50 minutes to 'give his side of events'
Judge Michael Moriarty - Team of technical experts examined tribunal offices
Judge Michael Moriarty - Team of technical experts examined tribunal offices

Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe has said Michael Lowry will be given two opportunities to speak on the Moriarty Report in the Dáil.

He will be allowed to make a personal statement tomorrow, and will then be given a further opportunity to speak after the question and answer session with Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Kehoe said Deputy Lowry would have 'adequate time' to deal with any issues which arose.

Earlier, Deputy Lowry asked the Government for extra time to contribute to the Dáil debate on the Moriarty Report, and offered to answer any questions that fellow deputies have for him.

Mr Lowry said that as the person who had been subjected to 14 years of tribunal inquiry, he should be given adequate time to respond.

After initially being offered 20 minutes, the Government then offered him half an hour, but he said he needed 50 minutes to give his side of events.

Meanwhile, gardaí have found no evidence of interference with the telephone system at the Moriarty Tribunal offices at Dublin Castle.

In a statement, they said that they are not currently investigating alleged interference with the telephone system at the offices, but they have pointed out that they routinely carry out security checks at State offices and buildings.

Yesterday, it was reported that gardaí were called in to investigate a suspected breach of security at the Moriarty Tribunal the week before its final report was published.

It is understood that the breach related to an incident involving the direct phone line used by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty.

The breach prompted a concern that the phone may have been tapped.

A team of technical experts from the gardaí conducted a sweep of the Tribunal office complex including the phone used by the Tribunal Chairman, other phones and technical equipment and checks throughout the building.