Michael Healy-Rae is Dáil’s biggest landlord and declares NYT shares

One-quarter of TDs are property investors or landowners

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae declared 16 letting properties  in a Dáil register of members’ interests. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae declared 16 letting properties in a Dáil register of members’ interests. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

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One-quarter of TDs are property investors or landowners, the latest register of Dáil members’ interests shows, a drop from the previous Dáil, in which one-third were so categorised.

Michael Healy-Rae remains the Dáil’s biggest landlord, with 16 properties listed for rent, according to the register, which covers 2020. He has also disclosed shares in the New York Times. Oireachtas members are obliged to declare share values over a €13,000 threshold.

The latest Register of Members’ Interests shows 25 per cent of current TDs have investment properties, are landlords or own farmland, down from 33.5 per cent in the last Dáil.

Mr Healy-Rae lists 16 properties as “for letting”, as well as a directorship with “Michael Healy-Rae Properties Ltd”, the purposes of which are said to be “maintenance and repairs of properties”.

His occupations are recorded in the register as postmaster, politician, farmer, service station owner, and in plant hire. The Kerry Independent TD declined to comment on his role as a landlord or his shares in the New York Times.

Fine Gael TD and former minister Michael Creed lists his occupation as “landlord” and has three premises listed as for letting – a commercial unit with three apartments, and two separate residential properties.

Independent TD Seán Canney details four letting properties in Co Galway. Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Johnny Guirke lists four properties for let, one of which is owned by Moylagh Construction — a company where he is a director.

Ministers’ properties

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has listed two properties for let – an apartment in Sandyford, Co Dublin, and a house in Clara, Co Offaly.

Minister for Education Norma Foley lists an apartment in Rathgar, Dublin, in which she holds a 50 per cent ownership stake as a residential letting. She records her occupation as secondary school teacher and the register notes she is “currently on career break”.

Labour leader Alan Kelly recorded an occupation as “landlord” in 2019 in relation to a property in Dublin’s Walkinstown. The latest register says there was no rental income from the property in 2020. It was sold in November and Mr Kelly is no longer described as a landlord.

According to the new register, Fine Gael Minister of State Peter Burke bought just in excess of 22 hectares of land in Co Westmeath last year. He told The Irish Times he bought the land along with his uncle and it is to be used as part of the family farm.

Limerick city Green Party TD Brian Leddin listed his occupation as “landlord” but did not disclose any properties. On Friday, Mr Leddin said he co-owns a property in Limerick with his brother and he is checking if he has to make a supplementary declaration to the register.

Most shareholdings

Fianna Fáil Dublin Bay North TD Seán Haughey disclosed the most shareholdings of any TD, with 34 companies listed. Businesses in which he held shares ranged from Chinese tech company Alibaba to media giant Disney, as well as Pfizer and Sanofi – companies that have developed or are developing Covid-19 vaccines.

Under the rules for declarations, TDs must declare holdings in individual companies when the holdings are worth more than €13,000. Other TDs to declare shares in companies include Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton and Willie O’Dea of Fianna Fáil.

Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill’s declaration says he resigned as a director of Thurles Greyhound Stadium and disposed of his shares in the company “midway through the year [of 2020]”.

Mr Cahill said: “While I have disposed of my shares in Thurles Greyhound track I’m still a supporter of the greyhound industry and I’m looking forward to working with the industry to see it develop as we go forward.”

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