Fianna Fáil Councilor Colm Kelleher wrote to Cork City Council in the wake of the Robert Troy controversy to apologize for omitting a plot of land in his declaration of interest.
In a letter dated August 18, the former Lord Mayor of Cork said: “Recent events surrounding statements by elected officials have prompted me to review my own statement to Cork City Council.”
That Irish Independent reported yesterday how former tenants of the property in Clonmore, Mallow, Co Cork, have filed a case with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to get their €960 deposit back.
Although the tenants paid the bail to Mr. Kelleher and dealt with him throughout their tenancy, he told RTB that his brother was the landlord when the rent guard contacted him about the case.
The tenants told RTB they had nothing to do with his brother and their complaint was with Colm Kelleher.
However, Seamus Kelleher was named as the landlord on the notice of determination published by RTB.
Colm Tierney, his wife Siobhan and their three children had lived in the house for five years and paid €280 a week rent.
RTB ruled they were entitled to their bail plus €150 in damages.
Mr Kelleher was elected to Cork City Council in 2019 and also served as Lord Mayor for a year.
In his letter to council explaining the discrepancy over the rental property, he wrote: “I have a 50 per cent interest in a property in Mallow.
“Due to an ongoing legal issue in relation to this property, I misunderstood that I am required to state this as interest on my declaration forms.
“I have been advised on this and now, in the interest of transparency, I would like to correct this genuine error. I apologize for the confusion caused.”
That Irish Independent sent Mr Kelleher a number of inquiries, including a question as to whether the property was registered with RTB as a rental, but received no response.
During the five-year term, the tenants signed two leases. The first was in the name of Colm Kelleher, while the second named him and his brother Seamus as joint landowners.
However, the tenants said they paid their deposit to Colm, contacted him about any problems they had, and dealt only with him throughout their tenancy.
They received their bail and the €150 in damages after the verdict.
TDs and councilors have come under intense scrutiny for their declarations of interest after Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy resigned as junior minister following revelations The ditch that he failed to include several properties in his Oireachtas declaration of interest.
A number of politicians have subsequently admitted to having changed their statements.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/former-lord-mayor-of-cork-colm-kelleher-apologised-to-council-for-leaving-rental-property-off-his-declaration-of-interests-41954838.html Former Lord Mayor of Cork Colm Kelleher has apologized to Council for removing rental properties from his declaration of interests