Words: Ciarán Howley and Aiesha Wong
Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy didn’t declare all ELEVEN of the properties he owns to SIPO, while two of which lie empty. To make matters worse, the more he tries to cover his own back the more wrongdoings are revealed.
If statistics about the number of vacant properties (166,000) and the staggering average cost of rent in Dublin (1,972 euro) weren’t enough, the latest “misinterpretation” in the Dáil has some facts and figures that will make eyes water.
It has emerged that Minister for State Trade Robert Troy is the owner of eleven rental properties across Ireland – six of which are in receipt of government payment schemes like HAP (Housing Assistant Payment) and RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme).
This is in contravention with the obligation of TDs to declare interests to SIPO (Standards in Public Office) for earnings of over 9000 euro outside the Dáil. On rental properties in Phibsborough, Troy was charging 1500 per month making the yearly rent for just one 18,000. One of which Troy has admitted to receiving payments in cash.
That’s not to mention other failures of declared interests, including a house 82,500 euro in 2019 which was then flipped for a profit of 80,500 when it was for 163,000 to the Longford County Council.
That’s on top of a vacant property in Mullingar, Westmeath in receipt of 780 euro worth of RAS by the Westmeath County Council, where Troy was formerly employed. According to Ditch.ie, there are no official records of a house sold by Robert Troy to the council for 230,000 euro.
A rental property owned by Troy has been under investigation by the Dublin City Council since 2015 for inadequate fire safety protection measures after official complaints were made. In a statement issued today, Troy denied the claims that regulations surrounding fire safety were ignored.
In an interview with RTÉ, Troy cited the error as a “misinterpretation” of the guidelines in declaring conflict of interest and expressed his willingness to go before the Dáil. Incredibly, Mícháel Martin, Darragh O’Brien and Leo Varadkar have come out to show support for the man hiding property interests from the government. Varadkar has called him a “top man” and an Taoiseach has accepted the TD’s story.
With mounting pressures to provide comprehensive statements on his properties, it’s clear this scandal is not going away any time soon.
Stay tuned for more.
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