Evidence of Government Ministers
In addition to the evidence given to the Tribunal by 19 civil servants, the Moriarty Tribunal also heard sworn evidence relating to the awarding of the second mobile phone licence to Esat Digifone Limited from five former Government Ministers, namely:
- Mr. John Bruton, former Taoiseach
- Mr. Dick Spring, former Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Ruairi Quinn, former Minister for Finance
- Mr. Proinsias De Rossa, former Minister for Social Welfare
- Mr. Michael Lowry, former Minster for Transport, Energy and Communications
- Mr. Alan Dukes, former Minster for Transport, Energy and Communications.
Evidence was also given to the Tribunal by a senior Official from the Competition Directorate (DG IV) of the European Commission, Mr. Christian Hocespied. Mr. Hocespied gave no evidence whatsoever of any interference or wrongdoing in the second mobile phone licence process by Michael Lowry (or indeed by anyone else).
John Bruton, Dick Spring, Prionsias De Rossa and Michael Lowry were the members of a Cabinet Sub-Committee on Telecommunications which was established by the Irish Government on 7 February 1995 to oversee the second mobile phone process and the introduction of liberalisation into the Irish mobile phone market.
Mr. Alan Dukes was appointed Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications on 3 December 1996 following the resignation of Mr Michael Lowry. He served in that office until June 1997.
Not one of the aforementioned witnesses gave any evidence of wrongdoing or interference on the part of Michael Lowry in the second mobile phone licence process. All of these witnesses further attested under oath to the integrity and ability of the individual civil servants involved in conducting the second mobile phone process.
Mr Sean Donlon, Programme Manager and Advisor to the Taoiseach (and former Irish Ambassador to the United States), carried out an internal inquiry into the second mobile phone process at the behest of John Bruton following the resignation of Mr Michael Lowry in late 1996. Mr. Donlon’s inquiries revealed absolutely no wrongdoing or interference in the process on the part of Michael Lowry. Mr. Donlon gave evidence to this effect to the Moriarty Tribunal in March 2004.