Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien has said he regrets that Robert Troy is stepping down as Foreign Secretary.
he Fianna Fáil TD said he thought there was “no question” that Robert Troy “will come back at some point in the future” as he is a “very effective TD”.
Mr Troy resigned from his post at the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on Wednesday after days of controversy over declaring his property interests.
In a lengthy statement, Mr Troy said he made real mistakes with his affidavit and said he would not apologize for being a landlord.
“I’m sorry to see Robert go, to be honest I think he was a really effective Minister,” Minister O’Brien said.
“He was very honest, he made some mistakes, he put his hands up and corrected them, but it took eight or 10 days and I think it obviously took a toll on Robert and his family.
“I think there are lessons to be learned from that, no question.
“I certainly think that in terms of the declaration of interests, changes could be considered particularly in relation to declarations if TDs or Senators have indeed made arrangements with local authorities through rental housing schemes or HAP that this is one change that could be made .”
Mr O’Brien said he believed Mr Troy would turn to the Dáil to answer questions about mistakes he made in declaring his property interests.
“I’m personally very sorry to see him go, it was his decision and he came in, I was very supportive of Robert in his role. I think he put his hands up, he answered detailed questions,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“I think it’s important for Robert now that he and his family are given a little freedom. I’m sure it was a tough 10, 12 days for them but he made that decision for himself, I respect that.”
Mr O’Brien said ethics legislation in Ireland is “very strong” but could be “strengthened”, particularly where explanations are concerned.
“I think there’s a case and point in every TD’s Dáil, you want people to represent the country,” he said.
“A lot of people have different interests or not, what usually happens when someone speaks in the Dáil is someone refers to it.
“I think the idea of saying that TDs or senators who are elected by people can’t speak to this or that I find very odd.”
Meanwhile, Mr O’Brien said he was confident the Government would surpass the target of over 24,000 new homes this year.
“We had a very clear housing shortage for 10, 12 years and we’re playing catching up,” he said.
“This year we are aiming for 24,600 and by the way I am confident that we will exceed this target, but that is still not enough.
“I’m hoping that all else being equal we’re targeting 29,000 new builds next year, we’re going to jump significantly from 20,000 to 25,000 this year which is a big leap and I see another significant leap forward next year.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/housing-minister-darragh-obrien-very-sorry-to-see-very-effective-minister-robert-troy-resign-41938621.html Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien ‘regrets’ the resignation of ‘very effective Minister’ Robert Troy