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Galway City Council investigating allegations staff were gifted social housing

Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh says he has received documentation showing abuse of the council housing system by officials.

23061048630_3c38d35533_o Source: William Murphy

A SINN FÉIN senator has voiced allegations that certain staff at Galway City Council have acquired social housing that should not have been available to them due to their income level.

Trevor Ó Clochartaigh told Seanad Éireann under parliamentary privilege last Thursday that he had come upon documentation suggesting that a “senior management official with Galway City Council was allocated a house by another council official under the affordable housing scheme and that he was not eligible for this” due to earnings of greater than the income limit for such housing of €36,500.

“It is asserted that the official in question has since retired and received a pension lump sum. It is claimed that he already had a primary residence prior to purchasing this house and that this new house is now being rented out,” he said.

The documentation, which Ó Clochartaigh acknowledges is not official in nature, alleges that a number of staff at the council  have also acquired houses, and have benefitted financially from those houses rising in value.


He alleged that officials were allocating better houses to their colleagues and giving them priority over people legitimately on the waiting list.

90390706_90390706 Trevor Ó Clochartaigh Source: Sasko Lazarov

A report into a similar case dating from May 2014 had yet to be completed by Galway City Council, the senator said.

In posing his questions and accusations to Junior Minister of State for Housing Damien English, Ó Clochartaigh said that to “even think” that council staff might be engaging in such practices “beggars belief”.

English’s response was that Ó Clochartaigh make his documentation available to the relevant authorities, in this case the Department of Housing and the gardaí. The senator agreed to do so “if I feel it necessary”.

Speaking to, Ó Clochartaigh said that “people believe that other persons who are not entitled to social housing have been acquiring same, and public pay scales have been breached”.

In response to a query from regarding this matter, a spokesperson for Galway City Council said:

“Galway City Council is aware of the statements made by Senator Ó Clochartaigh in the Seanad in the last week.”

They contain very serious allegations. The Chief Executive of Galway City Council has initiated an investigation into the claims.
For the moment, Galway City Council has nothing further to add to the matter.

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