Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 5°C
PA Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy

FF junior minister Robert Troy amends his register of interests after undeclared property sale

In declarations for 2018 and 2020 respectively, he has added the sale of two properties.

LAST UPDATE | Aug 18th 2022, 5:00 PM

FIANNA FÁIL MINISTER of State for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy has published a statement apologising for errors in his Dáil declarations of interest.

The Ditch first reported that Troy had previously owned a property in Mullingar that he failed to declare the sale of to Westmeath County Council in 2018.

The Longford–Westmeath TD said that he has now submitted amendments of his declarations to the Clerk of the Dáil and SIPO.

A spokesperson for Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he “accepts and acknowledges Minister Troy’s apology”.

In his own lengthy statement this afternoon, Troy said he “had been under the mistaken impression only property in my possession on 31st December of the registerable year was to be registered and not properties sold during that year.”

“I have reviewed my declarations made to date in detail and I am satisfied that my amended returns accurately reflect all my interests for public record,” he said.

Troy sought to clarify a number of issues, adding to his declaration that his former registered private dwelling house (PDH) on Main Street, Ballynacargy, has been rented out since November 2021.

In two new declarations for 2018 and 2020 respectively, he has added the sale of a property in Oak Crest in Mullingar and another sale in Ashfield, also in Mullingar.

Under his register of directorships, Troy has now added RMT Management Limited. 

“This was declared in previous years. I began the VSO process to close in 2020, and ceased operations in 2020. I was unaware that the process was not formally completed until 2021 – hence my error,” the Longford-Westmeath TD said.  

Under current Oireachtas ethics guidelines, TDs must declare any contracts that they were a part of, directly or indirectly, if the value of the transaction is higher than €6,500.

He also added that he holds 50% ownership of 39 Cathedral View Mullingar.

“During the course of my review, it was brought to my attention that this property is in fact registered in the sole name of the co-owner. That is clearly an error, and I will take the necessary steps now to have this corrected.”

His statement adds a number of declarations which he says do not have to be declafred but which he is doing so “to ensure full transparency”:

  • I have two Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) contracts with Westmeath County Council.
  • I have disclosed details in relation to negotiations for potential sales of properties.
  • My now wife and then-girlfriend was a secretary of RMT Management Limited.
  • I held voluntary and non–remunerative directorships with Westmeath Community Development and Mullingar Arts Centre – ending in 2011 and 2015 respectively.
  • I have provided details of the sale of the garden of one of my registered properties, 25 A Rathdown Road, in 2020.
  • I registered an inter-parliamentary trip to Taiwan in 2013.
  • I participated in a Rent-a-Room scheme in 2019 in my private dwelling house.

Troy said that claims had circulated in the media outlets and on social media that he had allegedly insisted that he was paid rent in cash and he denied this.

“I have reviewed my records on such, and I fully refute such claims. On full review of my records, I can confirm that Westmeath County Council paid rent for this property through electronic transfer from 1 August 2011 to the date the tenancy ended,” he said.

He also said in his statement:

“I sincerely regret that my omissions and errors could be seen as my deflection or disregard of my responsibilities as a public representative.”

“I take full responsibility and I apologise unreservedly to my constituents, colleagues in Government, to the Dáil, and to SIPO for these errors and omissions.” 

Speaking today to The Journal, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar acknowledged Troy’s statement and said he had apologised again and had gone further by declaring additional interests “he didn’t need to declare”.

“So I think he’s adopted the approach of making corrections, but then also declaring things that he doesn’t officially or technically have to declare under the legislation. That’s that’s the right approach,” Varadkar said.

So I’ve no reason to think that that’s anything other than comprehensive, but it does now go to SIPO and the clerk of the Dail. And they’re independent offices, independent bodies, being the Standards Commission, and if they take a decision to investigate further, that would be a decision that they would make, but we don’t know if they’ll do that.

“But even if they do, I think it’s it’s right that he should be afforded due process, and get a fair hearing.”

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said:
“The Taoiseach accepts and acknowledges Minister Troy’s apology, and welcomes his comprehensive statement to clarify the issues, and his amendments to the Register of Members’ Interests.”

- With reporting by Christina Finn and Rónán Duffy