Michael Lowry to appeal High Court decision over alleged tax offences

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said the case was 'devoid of any substance'

Michael Lowry, trial, alleged tax offences, High Court, dismissed, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan

Former Fine Gael minister Independent TD Michael Lowry pictured arriving at Leinster House | Image: RollingNews.ie

Michael Lowry says he intends to appeal a High Court dismissal of his attempt to stop his trial for alleged tax offences.

The case of the outgoing Independent TD was described as "devoid of any substance or merit and ultimately built on a foundation of sand".

In dismissing Mr Lowry's action, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said he had failed to identity any unlawfulness in his prosecution, had failed to demonstrate anything remotely improper in the conduct of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and said the time to challenge the decision to prosecute had long since passed.

Mr Lowry is accused of breaking a number of tax laws arising from a €372,000 payment to his refrigeration company in 2002.

The court heard the payment was diverted to an Isle of Man trust account - but the outgoing TD for Tipperary North claimed he has no case to answer because it has since been declared and he no longer has a tax liability.

In a statement issued this afternoon, he noted the "extraordinary timing" of the decision with just three days until polling day.

He declared his intention to appeal the dismissal all the way to the European courts if necessary.

His full statement reads: "Last month following the unanimous decision of both Tax Appeal Commissioners I have no tax liability. My lawyers asked the High Court to halt the DPP prosecution of me for alleged tax offences".

"Today, with extraordinary timing within three days of the election, the High Court held that the case should still proceed and that it should be dealt in Dublin and not Tipperary, even though I have no financial liability and never resided in Dublin".

"I will be appealing today's decision to the Court of Appeal and if necessary to the European Courts".

"I wish to confirm both I personally and my company are in possession of tax clearance certificates", it adds.