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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
National
Danny De Vaal

Sinn Fein TD under fire from own party for not registering one of his properties

A Sinn Fein TD has come under fire from his own party for not registering one of his properties with the Residential Tenancies Board.

Meath-West deputy Johnny Guirke was slammed for the blunder surrounding a house he owns in Cois na hAbhainn in Galway.

Mary Lou McDonald’s party hit out and said the mishap was “unacceptable” and any further failures relating to rental registration would lead to “disciplinary action.”

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Deputy Guirke placed the blame on a letting agent who he claimed failed to renew the registration on the house.

In a statement, Sinn Fein said: “All rental properties should be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board - no ifs, buts or maybes.

“It isn’t acceptable that a rental property was not registered, even for a short period.

“Johnny has accepted he made an error in relation to a rental property when its RTB registration lapsed which was being managed by a local agent.

“He rectified the situation when it came to light.

“The property was properly listed in the members’ interests register.

“The party has formally spoken with Johnny and made it clear to him that the situation with regard to the rental property not being registered properly with the RTB was unacceptable and that any further lapses would result in disciplinary action from the party."

Three other properties owned by the politician in Longford and Meath are registered with the RTB.

Mr Guirke told The Irish Independent that the Galway house is now registered.

He explained: “This property was initially registered. However, it has come to my attention that this registration lapsed due to an error on behalf of the letting agent.

“As soon as I became aware of this, I immediately rectified this and the property is registered again with the RTB.

“I take my responsibilities very seriously and regret that this error occurred.”

Landlords face fines of up to €4,000 and six months of imprisonment if they do not register a tenancy following new laws which were introduced last April.

Earlier this week, Fianna Fail Minister Robert Troy resigned after he failed to declare all his property dealings to the Dail register of members’ interests.

He admitted he made “serious mistakes” when he didn’t declare a number of properties of the 11 he owned, or part-owned on the official Dail members interests register.

The Irish Mirror also understands Johnny Guirke is selling two of the rental properties he owns in Abhainn Glas in Longford.

The tenants were not evicted and are actually in the process of purchasing the houses from Deputy Guirke who will continue to live there as homeowners instead.

In addition, the TD confirmed he failed to declare he owned his Galway property and another one located in Cluain Loinn in Oldcastle in Meath after he was elected to Meath County Council.

Guirke served as a member of Meath County Council 2014 to 2020 before he was elected to the Dail.

In response to questions from The Irish Mirror, Johnny Guirke said: "When I was first elected to Meath County Council in 2014, I was unaware of the need for me to make this declaration.

"Once I became aware of this, I made a full declaration for 2015 for every subsequent year."

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