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Controversy

Robert Troy resigns as junior minister amid property declarations controversy

The politician was in hot water over a failure to declare property to the Dáil Register of Members’ Interests.

LAST UPDATE | 24 Aug 2022

EMBATTLED FIANNA FÁIL politician Robert Troy has announced he is to resign his minister of state post.

The Dáil Deputy made the announcement in a statement issued this evening shortly after 9pm.

“I am issuing this statement as a serving TD for the constituency of Longford/Westmeath to officially announce my resignation as a Minister of State.

“The last ten days have been extremely difficult, but I would like to sincerely thank the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and the large number of colleagues across the political divide who have shown their support and who continue to have trust in me,” he said.

Troy has faced controversy over failing to declare all of his property dealings to the Dáil’s register of members’ interests, as first reported by The Ditch earlier this month.

Since then, he had to make a total of seven amendments to the Dáil register and revealed that he owns or part-owns 11 properties.

Earlier today, Climate Minister Eamon Ryan called for investigations into Troy’s actions by an Oireachtas committee and standards in public office watchdog Sipo. Ryan said that Troy’s “significant errors” had the effect of “undermining confidence in the political system”.

In a statement earlier this afternoon, Troy’s office said he was willing “to engage with SIPO, RTB or a Dáil Committee as suggested by Minister Ryan”. 

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said in a statement that it was with “regret” that he accepted the resignation. 

“Robert has been a very committed, hardworking and efficient Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, in particular working with SMEs and preparing legislative reforms for the PIAB.

“The Minister clearly acknowledged that he made serious errors in relation to his declarations to the Register of Member’ Interests, and he sincerely apologised for this.

“Since his election to Dáil Éireann, his commitment to his constituents and dedication to his work has been beyond question, he said. 

Sources have told The Journal that Minister Troy contacted the Taoiseach earlier this evening and informed him that he was resigning.

He said he didn’t want it to be a distraction to Government – the Taoiseach did not ask him to resign.

It is understood that Micheál Martin will reflect on replacement over coming days.

Troy’s statement

In his second statement of the day, released tonight, Robert Troy said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure members of the public once again that I have not tried to conceal anything. My biggest offense is my lack of due diligence. However, one issue in isolation is excusable but the number of errors now that are of my making directly or indirectly has led me to this decision.  

“I am sorry that it has caused so much upheaval and has distracted from the serious issues at hand in this country and the good work this government is doing, and my party is doing, particularly in housing.

“I do however want to stress they were genuine errors and human errors and were not intentional. I hold myself to a high standard and that is the reason I have taken this decision of my own counsel,” he said.

Troy said he that he was “more than happy” to answer any questions Sipo or the Residential Tenancy Board have and “will of course give a full account in the Dáil if required once it returns”.

“While I accept my mistakes, I would like to state that the narrative being put forward by some media and some in the opposition that landlords are villains is simply wrong. I am acutely aware of the sensitives of the housing situation in Ireland, and on a continuous basis work to assist constituents address their housing needs – but vilifying landlords is not the answer, and it will not help the problem.

“I personally will not apologise for being a landlord. I bought my first house at the age of 20 as I went straight into a job after school, so I was in a position to purchase my first property then. 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,” he added.

He said that he would continue to serve the people who elected him.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to assure my constituents and supporters that I will continue to work as diligently as I always have as a TD, and that I will continue to give my full commitment to my party.

“It’s been the privilege and honour of my life to serve in this Government and to serve my party as a minister and I look forward to being in a position to serve in Government again one day,” he added.

Troy had served as Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation since July 2020. 

With additional reporting from Lauren Boland and Christina Finn.

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