The Northern Ireland-based businessman behind the leak of “that” phone call involving Michael Lowry has spoken of his decision to publicize the conversation.
Land agent Kevin Phelan claims he made the content of the call available to The Sunday Independent after hearing of “alarming” remarks made by the disgraced former minister had made about him and about his family.
It has emerged that Deputy Lowry made “disturbing” remarks to Fianna Fáil’s Senator Diarmuid Wilson outside the Oireachtas late last year.
Tipperary TD Lowry, formerly a minister for transport, energy and communications in John Bruton’s government, has refused to talk to journalists about the matter. Mr Phelan likewise has refused to divulge any of the conversation’s content save to confirm that he believes it took place.
Speaking to The Sunday Independent, Mr Phelan gave his reasons for making the expletive-laden conversation with Deputy Lowry public:
“The reason why I gave the tape to the Sunday Independent is that Michael Lowry had a very robust conversation with Senator Diarmuid Wilson on the street outside the Dail recently. Deputy Lowry said something about my family which was deeply hurtful. I’m not going to be intimidated by people and I’m just not going to tolerate that. This was my way of protecting myself and my family” he said.
The Omagh businessman also revealed that he had made a number of copies of the conversation, which are stored “in a safe place”.
“At the end of the day” he said, “I’m not holding recordings in any way to embarrass anybody or to be difficult. The recordings are private to me, in terms of protecting my position and effectively they are not there to be just published to cause trouble.”