Complaints had been lodged after an investigation by the Irish Examiner discovered that he was the part-owner of land in Wigan which, at the time, was not listed as part of his declaration of interests.
Last Tuesday, however, Lowry added the land – which he maintained was still of “negligible value” – to his Register of Dáil Interests in response to “wildly inaccurate speculation regarding its value.”
A decision on whether the near-300 complaints will be referred to the Members’ Interests Committee of Dáil Éireann is pending legal advice, however.
Responding to TheJournal.ie, the spokesperson said:
Following further consideration the Clerk of the Dáil is seeking legal advice on the matter. Accordingly the Clerk of the Dáil is not in a position to make a decision at this stage as to whether the complaints should be referred to the Committee on Members’ Interests . He expects to be in such a position shortly.
Reasons for complaints not being forwarded would be if the Clerk determined them to be “frivolous or vexatious or that there is ‘not sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case in relation to the complaint’.”
In cases where the complaint is rejected for the reasons outlined above, “the Clerk is obliged to send the complainant, the member concerned and the Committee a statement of the reasons for so doing.”
The Mayor of Thurles Cllr Michael Cleary (Fine Gael) has been accused of abusing his position following his refusal to take a vote on a motion of no confidence in his party colleague, Minister for Health James Reilly TD, at the monthly meeting of the Town Council this week.
The vote of no confidence had been proposed by Councillor Jim Ryan and seconded by Councillor David Doran who labelled the Minister “a disaster”. But, Mayor Cleary refused to hear the proposal and urged Thurles Town Clerk Mr Michael Ryan to ‘move on” with the agenda, much to the chagrin of the two councillors who felt that a legitimate proposal had been tabled and seconded.