Company directors have ties to Lowry

The directors of the company granted a controversial meeting with Phil Hogan through Michael Lowry are close relatives of the Tipperary TD’s media adviser.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan met with Mr Lowry and Filmco, a farm waste recycling company.

Mr Lowry has maintained the discussions centred on saving jobs and that he had arranged the meeting as part of his work as a TD.

The Irish Examiner has learned that Filmco, which is based in Carrick on Suir, South Tipperary, has ties to the North Tipperary TD.

Jack O’Reilly, a director in Filmco, is uncle to Valerie O’Reilly, media adviser for Mr Lowry. Edmond O’Reilly, another director in Filmco, is Valerie’s brother.

Ms O’Reilly confirmed the directors were her relatives. She said she worked part time for Mr Lowry but added: “I had no involvement with that meeting and was not aware of it until recent days.”

She handled public relations for Mr Lowry’s 2007 election campaign as well as media queries for him after Moriarty was published.

Filmco said yesterday: “Michael Lowry and Minister Phil Hogan acted in absolute good faith as did a number of political figures we met with previously, including former minister for the environment John Gormley. As far as we are concerned, there was no impropriety, we had the meeting, we set out our case. Mr Lowry arrived with us, he left with us and was with us for the entire process. Nothing was discussed other than the matters related to the Irish waste farm plastic business. The purpose of the meeting was to protect jobs and to promote the industry.”

Filmco director Jack O’Reilly said the company had sought changes to department interpretations on plastic farm waste.

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