Former junior minister Robert Troy has confirmed he will run in the next general election.
Longford-Westmeath TD Mr Troy resigned as minister of State for enterprise last month amid controversy over his failure to fully declare his property interests on the Dáil register of interests.
He was on hand to welcome Taoiseach Micheál Martin and fellow Fianna Fáil politicians to Mullingar for the party’s pre-Dáil think-in meeting on Monday.
Mr Troy resigned last month saying he had not tried to conceal anything and saying: “My biggest offence is my lack of due diligence.”
He apologised for errors he made but also hit out at the media and the Opposition for how they had pursued the matter.
Mr Troy was asked at a press conference if he had regrets over how he handled the situation.
He said Fianna Fáil was gathering in Mullingar with a “very serious agenda on the cards” and the party was “focused on dealing with the challenges faced by so many of our citizens“.
Mr Troy added: “For my own part, I dealt with the unintentional errors that I made.
“I issued a fulsome apology, and I do so again today.”
Asked if he would run in the next general election, he replied, “Most certainly.”
Mr Martin meanwhile was asked about a report in the Irish Mail on Sunday that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has found that Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen did not attempt to evade a Garda checkpoint when he was stopped and found to have been drink-driving.
Mr Cowen was sacked from his role as minister for agriculture in 2020 by Mr Martin after he refused to make a second Dáil statement about a drink-driving ban imposed on him in 2016.
Gsoc was separately asked by the Garda at the time to investigate the alleged leaking of information concerning Mr Cowen’s drink-driving arrest.
This followed a statement by Mr Cowen accusing gardaí of criminality for leaking allegations that he attempted to evade a Garda checkpoint before he was caught drink-driving.
The Taoiseach said he had not seen the Gsoc report and that it was his understanding that it was not concluded.
He said the decision to sack Mr Cowen was not related to Gsoc.
“It was just a very basic request at the time – and myself and Barry would disagree with the method – but I think Ministers have to go before the Dáil.”
On the issue of the Gsoc report, he said: “There are issues there that I’ve been very consistent on that nobody could be happy about in terms of the release of personal information pertaining to Barry at the time.
“I said at the time I wasn’t happy about that.”
Mr Martin added: “I look forward to seeing the Gsoc report… And I think I have to allow due process take its course.”
With a reshuffle looming before Christmas, Mr Martin was asked if there was a way back to Cabinet for Mr Cowen.
He replied: “Every member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party will always have an opportunity in the fullness of time.”
However, he also highlighted how there were not enough positions available for everyone in the parliamentary party.