Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has warned that Robert Troy’s failure to declare his properties to the Dáil “can’t be tolerated”.
The Transport Minister this afternoon told reporters that the Oireachtas should open up an investigation into the junior minister’s property portfolio.
He also called for the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) to investigate.
The Green Party leader says errors like Robert Troy's 'cannot be tolerated' and are damaging trust in the political system.
— Tom Douglas (@TomDouglas95) August 24, 2022
In an interview yesterday, Minister Troy again apologised over his failure to fully declare his property interests in the Dáil register.
He admitted he owns or part-owns 11 properties around the country – nine of which are rented out.
One of the properties is sub-let into three units and another is divided into four.
Meanwhile, reports this morning suggest one of his properties does not have a fire safety certificate and is under investigation for alleged unauthorised development.
Minister Ryan said his failure to fully declare his interests on the Dáil register “can’t be tolerated.”
“I think it was very disappointing, his error - failure - to properly declare and register his property interests, that undermines confidence in the political system, we all recognise that and it can’t be tolerated,” he said.
“We have to make sure that we live up to the legislation. The act that was introduced in 1995, the Ethics Act, is really clear in terms of the responsibility of all office holders, particularly, to declare all their interests.”
Minister Ryan said the Ethics Act includes provisions for SIPO to investigate – and said the watchdog’s investigation could provide “real clarity” around the declaration rules.
He said an Oireachtas committee should open an investigation before the Dáil returns.
“As office holders, we are accountable to the Oireachtas and I think it would be appropriate before the Dáil returns for a relevant Oireachtas committee, probably the Privileges and Oversight Committee to answer some of the questions that opposition and members have on this whole issue,” he said.
“I think that is the appropriate way forward. That is what is set out in the legislation and that is the right way forward.”
He refused to say whether he believes Minister Troy’s position is now tenable.
“What I want to do is make sure that full clarity is there on what happened and why he didn’t fully declare,” he said.
“I think using that Oireachtas practice and the SIPO practice is the right thing to do.”
Earlier today, The Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said Minister Troy’s position was “increasingly untenable.”
She said the Taoiseach’s continued support for him raises questions about his judgement.
In a statement this afternoon, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said, "Minister Troy has made it clear he will go before the Dail to answer questions, and that is a matter for the Dail to decide.
"The Minister has also stated he is willing to engage with SIPO, which is independent of Government, and it is open to SIPO at any stage to investigate.
"The Minister has made a comprehensive statement and apologised sincerely for his errors, and is prepared to answer further questions and clarify any issues."