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Michael Lowry is a Republic of Ireland politician.
Michael Lowry was born in County Tipperary. He was educated in Thurles CBS and was elected to Tipperary North Riding County Council in 1979. In 1987 he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for Fine Gael. In 1993 he became Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. In 1994 he was appointed Minister for Transport, Energy & Communications in the Rainbow Coalition. A succession of controversies broke during his period of office. These included the granting of a mobile phone license to ESAT, plans for the Dublin Light Rail System and the closure of rural post offices. At the McCracken Tribunal it was revealed that supermarket tycoon Ben Dunne had paid £395,000 for an extension to Lowry's home in Tipperary. This allegation prompted Lowry's resignation from the Cabinet in November 1996. When John Bruton announced that Lowry would not be allowed stand as a Fine Gael candidate at the next election he resigned from the Party. The Tribunal concluded that Lowry had evaded tax. At the next election Lowry announced that he would stand as an Independent candidate. The investigation of payments to Lowry is one of the remits of the Moriarty Tribunal which has been sitting since 1997.
In the general elections of 1997 and 2002 Lowry topped the poll in his constituency. Since then he has hinted that he would like to rejoin Fine Gael in the future and would like to return to ministerial office, but the Fine Gael leadership has publicly rejected these overtures.
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