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Justice Michael Moriarty

Police investigate Moriarty Report phone-tap claim

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Justice Michael Moriarty

Read more: Irish corruption report ‘wrong, deliberately misleading’says former minister
 
Irish police are investigating claims that the phone lines of the judge behind the explosive Moriarty Tribunal were tapped.

Former Communications Minister Michael Lowry was found to have received monies from businessman Denis O’Brien in the report published last week.

Lowry has been urged to stand down as a member of the Irish parliament after the damning report but has refused to even consider the issue and has criticized the report.

So has O’Brien, the billionaire businessman whose company Esat won the controversial mobile phone license in 1995 that led to the Moriarty Tribunal.

Now police have examined phone lines at Justice Michael Moriarty’s office at Dublin Castle and at his home to see if his calls were tapped just a week before the report was issued.

Police made their move after they received a report outlining tribunal concerns that a landline used by the tribunal judge had been compromised.

The Irish Independent reports that one line of inquiry being pursued is the ‘possibility that Justice Moriarty’s most sensitive calls on his private phone line were monitored and recorded in the days leading up to the publication of the report’.

No evidence of tampering was found at the Dublin Castle offices and police have now switched their attentions to Justice Moriarty’s home phone and to phones of other key tribunal staff.

In a separate development, new Prime Minister Enda Kenny has also been dragged into the Lowry fall-out after weekend newspapers highlighted strong links between Kenny’s special adviser Mark Kennelly and Lowry.

Kennelly, who is not mentioned in the report, worked for Lowry between 1995 and 1996, the period when the multibillion euro mobile phone license was awarded but there is no suggestion of any wrong-doing on Kennelly’s part.

Kenny has now defended his adviser and said: “Mark Kennelly has been working for Fine Gael for the past 21 years. Only one brief period was spent with Michael Lowry.

“He denies all knowledge, role or involvement whatsoever in the awarding of the second mobile phone license.”

Former Fine Gael Minister Lowry, now an independent member of parliament, has also insisted Kennelly had ‘absolutely nothing to do with the issues relating to the license’.

Lowry told the Independent: “I think it’s a sad twist that anybody would infer that Mark Kennelly’s career should be in any way tied into this episode. Mark Kennelly is a person of the highest integrity.”

Read more: Irish corruption report ‘wrong, deliberately misleading’says former minister

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