Fianna Fáil Junior Minister Robert Troy has nine rental properties and gets Housing Assistance Payment for five tenants
23rd August 2022
Fianna Fáil Junior Minister Robert Troy has revealed he has nine rental properties and is in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment for five tenants.
Mr Troy said in total he has 11 properties with nine of them currently being rented out to tenants.
The embattled minister also revealed he was in receipt of income under the State funded Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) for two properties at a time he was using Dáil debates to call for money for the scheme.
Mr Troy said he is “embarrassed” about the lack of “due diligence” he showed in filing his Dáil register of members’ interests.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar are still supporting Mr Troy following his radio interview.
The Longford-Westmeath TD said he takes full responsibility for his failure to fully declare properties to local authorities in his constituency.
The minister with responsibility for company regulation also admitted he failed to properly declare a property business he was involved in.
During an interview with on RTE Radio 1’s News At One, Mr Troy said he will be willing to take questions in the Dáil on any of his business dealings.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has defended Mr Troy, even though the latter failed to register his rents with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) — despite a publicity campaign run by his Department.
Mr O’Brien said: “Every citizen has a right to own property.” But he added: “People should be aware of their own obligations.”
He said Mr Troy had now “rectified” his situation with the RTB and paid a late registration fee and penalty.
Mr Troy was now fully compliant he said, deflecting questions as to whether a minister of State could be forgiven for failing to meet the requirements of disclosing his interests.
His colleague was engaging with the Standards in Public Offices Commission and had corrected the record, he said.
Mr O’Brien said he believed Mr Troy was “entitled” to make comments on the need to increase housing supports during a Dáil debate, when he had not declared that he was benefitting himself from such payments through his tenants.
Asked how it looked for a Fianna Fáil TD and Minister to buy property and then sell it to Westmeath County Council for a profit, Mr O’Brien said he had given the powers to local authorities to buy homes on the open market for those on council waiting lists. It was a ‘transparent’ process, he said, even though the minister did not disclose it.
“I think what’s really important is that Robert has held his hands up and said very openly and honestly, that he made a mistake,” Mr O’Brien said.