Michael Lowry TD wins appeal of Moriarty Tribunal costs

Tipperary TD Michael Lowry has won his appeal against the Moriarty Tribunal’s refusal to award him two thirds of his costs.

In its ruling today, the Court of Appeal found there was what it described as an “absence of transparency” in how a decision was reached on Mr Lowry’s costs, adding the Tipperary TD was not given an opportunity to address this.

The court also ruled the Moriarty Tribunal’s decision on costs contained a judgement of “moral quality” and was a “quasi penalty or sanction” – something the court says wasn’t open to a tribunal.

The tribunal was set up in 1997 to investigate payments to the former Fine Gael Communications Minster and former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and its decision to refuse two thirds of Mr Lowry’s costs was based on a finding of non- cooperation- and that he had knowingly provided it with false information with a view to misleading it – something the Tipp TD has always denied.

Deputy Lowry appealed this decision to the High Court but it refused to overturn the decision. However, today the Court of Appeal found the High Court had made a factual error and that the tribunal had not used a rational way to calculate costs to the deputy.

However the court refused to overturn a decision that the Tipp TD had failed to cooperate with the tribunal.

Speaking to Tipp FM after today’s ruling, Deputy Lowry expressed his delight at the decision, adding the costs for him would have been around €10 million.

He went on to state that he was always confident that his appeal on costs would, under the laws of justice, be upheld and that the” fallacy of the Moriarty Tribunal is” , in his opinion, “now exposed”.