Taoiseach is backing Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly after it emerged he had not registered a tenancy for three years

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has backed Stephen Donnelly after the Health Secretary revealed he had not registered a rental property with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTN) for three years.

The minister has explained his oversight in renewing a long-term lease with the RTB in 2019 and that the interests of its members have been fully explained each year during that period,” a spokesman for Mr Martin said on Wednesday.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has also expressed his confidence in Minister Fianna Fáil.

And a spokesman for Leo Varadkar said the Tánaiste had “confidence” in Mr Donnelly.

“This is a long-term lease that has been previously registered and fully declared in its register of interests each year,” he said.

Labor has said Mr Donnelly should face questions from TDs in the Dáil explaining how such a “significant” oversight happened.

“At a time when we are seeing soaring rents, record levels of homelessness and the failure of housing for all, this is a significant oversight on the part of the minister,” a party spokesman said.

“It is very worrying that at the heart of government there is such a cavalier attitude towards tenants’ rights. Minister Donnelly is due to make a statement in the Dail when it returns, explaining how such a huge oversight came about.

“The Government must now commit to passing the Labor Tenants’ Rights Act.”

Mr Donnelly said he only registered the property after fellow minister Robert Troy became embroiled in controversy over his property interests.

Mr Troy resigned last week after days of revelations, one of which detailed that he also failed to register a property with RTB on time.

The Irish Times reported that Mr Donnelly’s property in Sandyford was due to be registered with the RTB in 2019 but was only registered last week “by accident”.

“The minister has a property with a long-term lease,” said a spokesman for the minister.

“This tenancy has been registered and extended several times (2011 and 2015) with RTB and is currently registered.

“Due to an oversight, the 2019 rental application was not extended where it should have been.

“RTB indicated that this should be backdated online, which was done last week.

“The Minister’s interests were fully declared each year in the Dáil Register of Members’ Interests.”

The Irish Independent previously reported that a rental property owned by Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke was not registered with RTB.

Mr Guirke has four rental properties across the country – two in Co Longford, a house in Co Meath and a property in Co Galway.

Mr Guirke said that property was managed by a letting agency which had taken responsibility for registering it with the RTB and the registration had expired and was not renewed due to an oversight by the letting agency.

“As soon as I became aware of this, I fixed it immediately and the object will be registered with RTB again,” he said.

“I take my responsibilities very seriously and I regret that this mistake happened.”

In response to the news of Mr Donnelly’s unregistered tenancy, Sinn Féin health spokesman David Cullinane said: “All politicians must take their responsibility in declaring interests seriously.

“It is crucial that there is maximum transparency in politics and that ministers lead the way from the front.”

https://www.independent.ie/news/taoiseach-backs-health-minister-stephen-donnelly-after-it-emerged-he-failed-to-register-tenancy-for-three-years-41951339.html Taoiseach is backing Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly after it emerged he had not registered a tenancy for three years

Fry Electronics Team

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