Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar’s unwavering support for 11-gaffs Robert Troy is nauseating.. it beggars belief
- 7:00, 26 Aug 2022
POOR old Robert Troy.
The junior minister has so many houses and flats in his portfolio, is it any wonder he got all in a muddle and didn’t include some of them in his Dail register of interests?
When you own or part-own 11 properties, even the most diligent among us would struggle to keep tabs.
Which doesn’t excuse in any way his omissions. Those elected to high office must necessarily hold the highest standards.
Troy had to go, and his resignation on Wednesday night after more than two weeks of controversy was inevitable.
What grated as he fell on his sword – and rankles still – is the unwavering support he received through the whole sorry mess from both the Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Tanasite Leo Varadkar, who called him a ‘hard-working, ‘first-class’ member of government.
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That backing in the face of so many ‘errors’ Troy made in not registering his multitude of property interests at a time of a national housing emergency is nauseating. It beggars belief, really.
It will be long-remembered that as the controversy grew day by day with ever-newer revelations regarding Troy’s mammoth housing portfolio, Varadkar and Martin held the junior minister’s hand throughout.
Do they hold in high esteem the squeaky-clan standards required of those who hold public office?
If the answer is yes, both would have demanded Troy’s letter of resignation at the first whiff of scandal. But we don’t do that in Ireland.
Those who fall short of what’s required usually have to be brought to the exit door, kicking and screaming.
Hardworking, Troy may have been, but he didn’t follow the legally-required rules. And both Martin and Varadkar should have seen this from the get-go.
Troy remained defiant right to the end, blaming the media in his resignation statement for vilifying landlords, adding: “I will personally not apologise for being a landlord.”
He added, in a bit of a slap in the face to those unable to afford a place to call home: “I bought my first house at the age of 20 as I went straight into a job after school.
“I am not a person of privilege and I have not been brought up with a silver spoon in my mouth. I have worked for all I have.”
Which, in fairness to him, got him quite the pile.
Eleven houses or apartments, either owned or part owned – and a sizable chunk of change every month from renting them out.
He may not feel himself to be privileged, but what ordinary man or woman owns 11 properties?
Of those eleven, he rents out nine and receives the State-backed Housing Assistant Payment for five of his tenants.
He has properties on the Rental Agreement Scheme too, including a 50 per cent stake in a two-bed town house in Mullingar that earns him a tidy €780 a month.
The Troy story was an unholy mess from start to finish; a quagmire that has further alienated Joe Soap from politics.
Here’s the heart of it: Troy is but one of almost 80 TDs and senators who are wealthy landlords.
It sticks in the craw that so many public representatives, who earn top dollar for representing the people as it is, earn an extra large crust from owning so much property.
Now, more than ever. Students can’t rent a room in a house for under €1,000 a month, a worker can’t find an apartment for less than €1,500 a month (€2,000 in the cities) and families are sleeping in cars.
And this lot are in charge of sorting out the s**t show!
The people are fed up and the anger of the ordinary man and woman trying to make ends meet is palpable.
Many feel that those who govern us are a privileged elite out for themselves.
No wonder the clamour for the populist Sinn Fein and the promise of a fresh start away from the old pillars that have dominated the political landscape for three generations without solving the myriad of problems our great country faces.
For many, the political Rubicon has been crossed.