Less Lowrys needed in politics

Off the fence
Less Lowrys needed in politics


Off the fence
Anton McNulty


In the week’s before the General Election, the comedian Dave McSavage lampooned politicians and the electorate in his own unique style during his show ‘The Savage Eye’.
In this particular sketch, a father explains to his son the reason why he should vote for a crooked politician is because ‘he fixed the roads’.
Following the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal, there must have been a hell of a lot of roads fixed around North Tipperary for Michael Lowry to receive 14,000 first preference votes in the General Election.
Some of the findings of the marathon tribunal found that the former minister for communications ‘secured the winning’ of the 1995 mobile phone licence competition for Denis O’Brien’s Esat Digifone, and he in turn made payments totalling approximately £500,000 to Mr Lowry.
Mr Justice Michael Moriarty also found that when he was minister, Lowry interfered in a rent arbitration process in an attempt to secure a benefit for the businessman Ben Dunne, who was making payments to Mr Lowry.
“What was contemplated and attempted on the part of Mr Dunne and Mr Lowry was profoundly corrupt to a degree that was nothing short of breathtaking,” the judge said.
Such a statement from a senior judge would surely mean a certain death sentence for any political career but not for a hard-nosed politician like Lowry. Deny, deny, deny has been his form of defence since the tribunal’s report was published even suggesting that he is the victim.
He is unlikely to resign though and why should he. The people of North Tipp still love him and in fairness to Lowry he is in good company when it comes to Irish politicians and the code of ethics or lack of them.
Only last year Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea thought it was worthy of a Minister to falsely sign a sworn affidavit before he was eventually forced to resign while John O’Donoghue had to be dragged kicking and screaming form the Ceann Comhairle’s chair after he felt his extravagant expenses were nothing to be ashamed of.
Oh and how could I forget Ivor Callely and his expenses claims.
Bar Trevor Sargent - and see what happened to him - resigning with dignity seems to be the last thing Irish politicians think of doing and clinging to their jobs is the most important thing to them.
The world is watching Ireland at the moment and stories of our politicians shenannigans are doing us no favours.
The last General Election was all about reform and political reform was one of the main talking points.
If we want real change in our country, politicians will have to be the ones leading from the front.