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Local Minister issues apology over serious mistakes to register of interests

Aug 18, 2022 16:08 By Shannonside News
Local Minister issues apology over serious mistakes to register of interests Local Minister issues apology over serious mistakes to register of interests
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The local Minister has also confirmed that he is fully tax compliant, refuting claims made this week.

Junior Minister Robert Troy has apologised for serious mistakes in his register of interests.

The Longford-Westmeath TD has made seven amendments to his declaration.

The clarifications date back to 2011 - and include changes to his land declarations, directorships and properties.

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He says he was under the impression he only had to declare properties in his possession on December 31st every year, and not the assets in the intervening months.

Minister Troy says he regrets the omissions and errors, and has apologised to constituents, colleagues, the Dáil and the Standards in Public Office Commission.

He also said there are inaccuracies circulating around alleged insistence of rental income being paid in cash.

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The Minister says he refutes those claims, and adds that he is fully tax compliant as a landlord and public representative.

The full statement from Minister Troy:

I have now submitted the amendments of my Register of Members’ Interests declarations to the Clerk of the Dáil and SIPO and am now in a position to release a comprehensive statement.

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As previously stated, I 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.

 

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I can now confirm the following amendments have been made:

 

Under occupation, the following applies:

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  • 2021 - I have now added that I have my former registered private dwelling house (PDH), Main Street Ballynacargy, rented out since November 2021
  • 2020 - I have now included Oak Crest which was omitted by error due to it being sold in 2020, but registered in 2019
  • 2018 – I have now included the sale of Ashfield which was recorded in all previous years

 

Under directorship, the following applies:

  • 2021 – I have 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.

 

Under land, the following applies:

  • 2011 - 2021 I have now included all properties under land and occupation. Previously I had declared them under ‘Occupation ‘, on advice from SIPO these should be declared secondly under ‘Properties’
  • 2019 – I have now declared the sale of Ashlawn, Clonbalt Woods, Longford. This was omitted in error as the property was bought and sold that year.
  • 2018 – I have now included the sale of Ashfield under land secondly as per the above advice

 

While I understand the following information does not have to be declared, I have provided the following details to ensure full transparency:

  • I have at all times declared my 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.
  • 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.

 

I take my role and responsibility as a TD for Longford-Westmeath and Minister of State very seriously and I fully appreciate the seriousness of my mistake. I sincerely regret that my omissions and errors could be seen as my deflection or disregard of my responsibilities as 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.

 

I am aware there have been inaccuracies shared by specific media outlets and shared by individuals on social media pertaining to my alleged “insistence” of rent monies to be paid in cash. 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. At all times, I fully declared my income from this, and all property I own.

 

I also fully refute inference or implication of any improper tax conduct on my part. I am fully tax compliant as a landlord and public representative.

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