Govt will act decisively on report - Kenny

Tuesday 29 March 2011 22.43
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Michael Lowry - Dáil debate on Moriarty Report
Michael Lowry - Dáil debate on Moriarty Report
Jimmy Deenihan - Dáil statements 'will be difficult'
Jimmy Deenihan - Dáil statements 'will be difficult'
Enda Kenny - Confirmed he will answer questions tomorrow
Enda Kenny - Confirmed he will answer questions tomorrow

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil the Government will act definitively and decisively on the recommendations of the Moriarty Tribunal, with Departments to report back within four weeks on how they should be implemented.

Read Michael Lowry's statement

A defiant Michael Lowry again stated he did not engage in any wrongdoing.

He claimed that the financial transactions detailed in the Moriarty Report have already been investigated by the Revenue Commissions, who had concluded that he had not got income from them and so was not liable to pay tax on them.

He admitted having made mistakes in the way he had done business with Ben Dunne but said he had settled that affair with the Revenue and paid a total of €900,000.

And in a reference to reports that he was now to be subject to an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau, he said they could send in CAB, the Army or whoever they liked, but there would be no €900,000 found as it had never been there and was not now there.

He repeated his belief, that the Moriarty Report contained opinions of the judge, which, he said, would not stand up in a pub, never mind in a court.

He also said no witness at the tribunal had said he had interfered in the granting of the licence and no one had said he had got money from Denis O'Brien.

Earlier, Mr Kenny said he wanted the government and the public to work together to bring a new morality to public life.

The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the Taoiseach needs to clarify that he accepts the findings and conclusions of the Moriarty report and not just the recommendations.

He said answers were outstanding on the $50,000 cheque; he said the report referred to the 'covert routing of funds' to Fine Gael which lacked transparency.

Mr Martin said the report reached a damning conclusion on Fine Gael's concealment of the cheque.

Earlier, Mr Kenny has said the Moriarty Tribunal has cost almost €42m.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Mr Kenny said the figure of €41.96m does not include third-party costs.

Mr Kenny has acknowledged that the findings of the Moriarty Report will weary and bewilder people at a time the lives of many are imploding.

He repeated that he welcomed the report's publication and welcomed that it exhonerated the then members of cabinet in the awarding of the second mobile phone licence.

Mr Kenny said his party had assisted the Tribunal as much as possible and said he regretted that the party did not override the legal advice from a Senior Counsel that a donation to Fine Gael did not fall within the remit of the Tribunal; he said it was wrong.

He outlined a number of reforms to ensure that trust is retsored in democratic institutions including legal provisions to ban corporate donations. He said legislation on such had been prioritised and should be published before the summer.

Earlier, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said today's Dáil's statements will be difficult for Fine Gael and it is something it could do without.

He denied it was embarrassing for the party however, claiming that Mr Lowry has not been in Fine Gael for sometime and had in fact supported Fianna Fáil in recent years.