By Rebecca Black, PA
Minister of State Robert Troy has resigned following questions around his property interests.
The Fianna Fáil TD said in a statement on Wednesday night that he has not tried to conceal anything, adding “my biggest offence is my lack of due diligence”.
It comes amid calls for the Dáil Committee on Parliamentary Privileges and Oversight to investigate matters related to his property interests.
Mr Troy has been at the centre of a controversy in recent weeks after he failed to declare all his property dealings to the Dáil register of members’ interests.
He is facing mounting pressure over his property interests and had to make a total of seven amendments to the Dáil register.
Earlier on Wednesday it had emerged that Mr Troy used Dáil speaking time to call on the Minster for Housing to support landlords seeking to evict tenants during the pandemic, when the moratorium on evictions was in place.
Mr Troy described the last 10 days as having been “extremely difficult”, and thanked Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and colleagues who had shown their support.
“I would like to take this opportunity to assure members of the public once again that I have not tried to conceal anything,” he said.
“My biggest offence is my lack of due diligence. However, one issue in isolation is excusable but the number of errors now that are of my making directly or indirectly has led me to this decision.
“I am sorry that it has caused so much upheaval and has distracted from the serious issues at hand in this country and the good work this government is doing, and my party is doing, particularly in housing.
“I do however want to stress they were genuine errors and human errors and were not intentional. I hold myself to a high standard and that is the reason I have taken this decision of my own counsel.”
He added: “I would like to reaffirm that I am more than happy to answer any questions SIPO or the RTB have and will of course give a full account in the Dáil if required once it returns.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said it is “with regret that the Taoiseach has accepted the resignation of Minister of State Robert Troy”.
“Robert has been a very committed, hardworking and efficient Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, in particular working with SMEs and preparing legislative reforms for the PIAB,” the statement said.
“The Minister clearly acknowledged that he made serious errors in relation to his declarations to the Register of Members’ Interests, and he sincerely apologised for this.
“Since his election to Dáil Éireann, his commitment to his constituents and dedication to his work has been beyond question.”