Dear Mr Lowry, please answer the following...

DEAR Michael Lowry, On Sunday you circulated a statement explaining some of the background to a telephone call between yourself and Kevin Phelan.

This call took place in September 2004, while the High Court was deliberating on whether the Moriarty Tribunal could legitimately probe the Doncaster Rovers issue.

This conversation was recorded and a transcript of it appeared in the most recent edition of the Sunday Independent.

The transcript, and your subsequent statement, have raised a number of questions. These include the manner in which they contradict evidence you submitted to the Tribunal.

Why did you not inform the Moriarty Tribunal about the money you paid to Kevin Phelan through Garuda Ltd?

A letter sent to the Tribunal in May 2007 by Kelly Noone Solicitors was prepared at your instruction.

It was sent to clarify issues about the payment you negotiated with Mr Phelan in March 2002. This letter was required because you were unable to elaborate on the specifics of the agreement during your testimony two months earlier.

The letter said that the £65,000 Vineacre paid was the only transaction “made to Kevin Phelan for projects in respect of which Mr Lowry had an involvement”.

If, as your statement on Sunday said, that there was another transaction conducted through Garuda it directly contradicts this evidence.

Do you stand over the assertion in the May 2007 letter that the £65,000 was the only payment made to Mr Phelan on your behalf?

Are you aware that it is an offence, under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, to knowingly give false or misleading evidence to a Tribunal?

Have you documents relating to the payments you made to Mr Phelan?

In the May 2007 letter to the Tribunal your solicitors said you did not have documents arising from to the negotiations with Mr Phelan.

Also, in the 2004 conversation with Mr Phelan, you said it had not gone through the books.

Your latest statement said it had it had been accounted for by Garuda Ltd.

These three positions appear to be incompatible.

If it was properly accounted for by Garuda Ltd it would suggest that there are papers linked to it.

Given that you, and others, have given evidence on the negotiations surrounding the £65,000 settlement it would be helpful if you could state when the additional agreement was finalised.

Can you supply an invoice from Garuda Ltd that recorded the payment you made to Kevin Phelan? When was this invoice generated?

Garuda was the focus of a substantial investigation by the McCracken Tribunal. This was because money was given to it by Dunnes Stores.

In 2007 you agreed a €1.4m settlement with the Revenue Commissioners arising from Garuda’s exposure.

In your statement on Sunday you said, that despite what you claimed in the transcript, the additional fee for Mr Phelan was declared and put through the books. You said it was accounted for by Garuda Ltd and was tax compliant.

Therefore was the additional £200,000 given to Kevin Phelan paid before, during or after the Revenue audit of Garuda’s affairs?

Was the £65,000 probed by the Moriarty Tribunal, and found to be paid to deliver a contrived falsehood, included in the £200,000 — £250,000 figure mentioned in the 2004 phone conversation?

The Moriarty Tribunal reported that the £65,000 fees paid to Mr Phelan, by you, were part of a choreographed falsehood to alter a letter linking you to the Doncaster Rovers deal.

This is something you disputed.

However, in the context of the Moriarty Tribunal’s findings can you set out why Garuda paid extra money to Mr Phelan?

Was your business partner in Wigan, Liam Carroll, aware of the additional money paid to Kevin Phelan through Garuda?

According to Tribunal testimony, Mr Carroll, who co-owned Vineacre with you, was involved in the negotiations to settle Mr Phelan’s claims surrounding your Wigan project.

Mr Carroll was also a 50% shareholder in Vineacre Ltd, which at the time held the title to your Wigan assets.

Testimony given to the Tribunal said that the Vineacre negotiations with Mr Phelan, in March 2002, resulted in the £65,000 payment.

If, as you claimed in the phone call, a payment of £200,000/£250,000 was also made to Mr Phelan through Garuda, was your business partner aware of this? Did he make another comparable individual settlement to reflect his share of the asset?

How much did you pay to acquire the 26-acre site, alongside Cranberry Lea Farm in Wigan?

You have restated your position that you never had an involvement with the Doncaster Rovers transaction and your payment to Mr Phelan was solely attributed to your plans for Wigan.

The value of the your remaining site in Wigan, which you have only recently declared on your Register of Members’ Interest, is currently the subject of an investigation by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The crux of this inquiry appears to be whether it was valuable enough to declare in any year between 2003 and 2012.

The weekend reports in the Sunday Independent have added more than £200,000 to the amount you put into the Wigan project.

Previously we have been told about the £65,000 you said Mr Phelan earned bringing the project together.

In addition, Vineacre’s accounts have recorded £117,000 which was invested in the purchase of options to the adjoining farms.

Avoneve Ltd, a company Mr Phelan introduced to the project before you, had negotiated to buy the freehold site for £274,000. But you the price you paid is not registered.

You have already sold the residentially zoned a portion of the site to Barrett Homes.

This all represents a considerable investment in a site you now attest to being worthless.

For this reason it would be helpful if you could say exactly how much was spent acquiring the property from Jack Robinson.

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up