Esat Digifone licence controversy

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It is alleged that as a result of benefits extended to Michael Lowry by Denis O'Brien that Esat Digifone was given an unfair advantage in the procurement of a mobile phone operator's licence.[1]

The Moriarty Tribunal found evidence of collusion between Lowry and O'Brien: "There are three significant findings which are largely beyond dispute. They are:

  • Denis O’Brien gave substantial sums of money to Fine Gael in order to make friends with people in the party.

This happened at a time when Fine Gael was in government and O’Brien was seeking a government decision in his favour.

  • Michael Lowry sought to be involved, to a greater or lesser degree, in the licensing process, seeking information about it on a number of occasions
  • Denis O’Brien, or persons close to him, subsequently sought to give large amounts of money to Michael Lowry."[2]


  1. ^ Email Us. "Would an INM write-down involve moral hazard? - The Irish Times - Wed, Mar 06, 2013". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  2. ^ "The Sunday Business Post". Retrieved 2013-03-09.