A friend of mine, watching “Prime Time” last night, summed it up perfectly. She said that she had to turn it off because of the effect it was having on her blood pressure. Aside from Sarah Carey’s extraordinary “jaw clunking off floor” performance defending Denis O’Brien, it raised the issue of how we as a society deal with this stuff. We have spent €150 million on this report. One of the possible horrific side-effects of the Moriarty Report could be multi-million Euro lawsuits brought against the Irish taxpayer by the other contenders for the mobile phone licence. Where’s the upside? Will anyone go to jail? Does anyone ever go to jail in Ireland for this stuff?
The other question is about Deputy Lowry himself: We have to ask ourselves as to whether 14,000 people in a constituency have the right to contaminate our national parliament with a man now condemned by the report? Do they have that right? Even if those 14,000 voters are morally equivalent to him, and share his values, are, in effect, like him, which is a reasonable assumption, do the rest of us have to put up with that?
Enda has talked about a new politics. So be it. Perhaps the people should be asked in a referendum to give the power to the Dail to remove, by a three quarters majority, a member deemed to be unsuitable?
Two thirds of voters in North Tipp did not vote for Michael Lowry. But 14,000 people did, having a pretty good idea as to what they were voting for. Do they have the right to drag us down to their level?