Our public representatives must be above reproach

“Ask someone to do a job for you and expect it to be done.”

This is how embattled junior Enterprises Secretary Robert Troy reacted to RTÉ when asked to explain why he had not provided full details of the sale of a property this month.

He bought it for €80,000 and sold it three months later for €160,000.

He had asked an agency to pass on all the relevant details. But that hadn’t happened.

The conclusion that was left open seemed to be: nowadays it is impossible to get good help.

But no, he wasn’t trying to deflect the blame.

Yes, he agreed, the rules are very clear. That’s why he was so “embarrassed”.

Had he forgotten that when the Fianna Fáil TD was elected, it was also “given a job” and voters expected it to be “done” – by the rules?

His repeated failure to put things right convincingly has also made him an embarrassment to the government. This is now a serious problem for Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Both seem to have agreed that there was “nothing to see here”. But for the person on a housing list or hoping to rent or buy a home during the housing crisis, there’s plenty to look at – and most of it murky,

You will see Mr Troy’s behavior as privileged, justified and unwise.

For a key member of the government to be buying and selling houses when so many are desperate for a roof over their heads makes a bad impression.

“So in total I have 11 properties at the moment, nine of which are leased,” Mr Troy said.

If he doesn’t conform in every detail, the sense of complaint is compounded.

It is very bad looks for a junior enterprise minister not to have given such matters “due diligence”.

If neither Mr Martin nor Mr Varadkar recognizes the anger or frustration of ordinary people at such reckless behavior, they will be in for a rude awakening when the Dáil returns, and possibly an even worse one at the next election.

He plaintively insisted that the root of the problem was that he misinterpreted the return’s requirements when he failed to disclose all of his
establishments.

But it goes much deeper. The register of interests is intended to ensure that the representatives of the public sector are irreproachable, so that no outside interests can interfere with the fulfillment of their tasks.

It doesn’t tolerate exceptions. It serves as protection from golden circles or spheres of influence.

It therefore seems surprising that both Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar are so staunch in their defense of Mr Troy. One wonders how such support will hold up in the inevitable firestorm when the opposition lets loose.

He claims to take “full responsibility” for his mistakes. But given the repeated nature of his mistakes, surely that must mean he is considering resigning from government?

If it’s something Mr. Troy isn’t willing to tolerate, it could soon become an affair
the Taoiseach.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/our-public-representatives-must-be-beyond-reproach-41932871.html Our public representatives must be above reproach

Fry Electronics Team

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