A quarter of TDs rent out properties

MORE than a quarter of the country’s 166 TDs are landlords, owning 112 properties for rent between them.

Eleven TDs make money from renting out foreign properties in places such as Bulgaria, France, England and Portugal as well as Boston and Florida.

The property and business interests declared by all members of the Dáil are contained in the Register of Interests for 2007, published yesterday.

Under ethics laws, the list outlines the potential earnings of politicians through land, gifts, shares, directorships, contracts, travel facilities and other occupations.

This is on top of their annual salaries, which range from €95,363 to €271,822 and their expenses entitlements, which total €65,000 a year.

Junior Justice Minister Frank Fahey has the largest property portfolio with income from about 20 apartments and shop units nationwide, as well as shares in two construction firms.

The Galway West Fianna Fáil TD co-owns 15 apartments that he rents in Brussels and has shares in a Boston apartment.

He owns a house in the town of Villefranche, near Cannes, in the south of France and another house in Dubai’s Jumeirah Estates.

His property empire is continuing to expand with deposits paid on three separate properties in Portugal.

Mr Fahey also declares an additional income of “capital gains on sale of property and shareholdings”.

Fine Gael’s Alan Shatter, who regained his seat last year, still earns income as a solicitor and has a number of properties in Florida, London and Dublin.

Fine Gael’s health spokesman and practising GP James O’Reilly tops the list for the largest amount of acres, with an interest in nearly 245 acres, including 150 in Moneygall, Offaly, and 86 in Lusk, Dublin.

His party’s finance spokesman Richard Bruton has 225 acres in Co Meath while colleague Jim O’Keeffe has interests in 176 acres, mainly in forestry.

Martin Mansergh (FF) has 165 acres in Tipperary, which he shares with his brother.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern does not declare any income from property or shares but admits to having gifts including a brass statue of Cúchulainn for his dedication to FF, a pass for entry to 10 greyhound tracks, and a book from Manchester United on show in Farmleigh House. In 2007, he became an honorary member of Clontarf Golf Club where members are set to receive €100,000 each from the sale of land, subject to approval from Dublin City Council.

Enda Kenny (FG) is a member in two golf clubs, including the K Club, and a guest in a third.

Defence Minister Willie O’Dea has interests in several natural resources and exploration companies, focusing on west African diamonds, oil and gold.

Sinn Féin’s Arthur Morgan has contracts for supplying seafood to the health services in Dublin as well as the defence forces.

A number of TDs, including ministers Brian and Conor Lenihan, had no interests to declare to the Ethics in Public Office.

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