Amended on December 4 (ahead of RTÉ Investigates)

Minister for Agriculture/Defence Simon Coveney (top) and his revisions (above) to the register of TDs’ interests

He couldn’t recall being a landlord.

But did he also forget to collect the rent?

We may never know.




Absent-minded Junior Minister at the Department of Agriculture Ann Phelan and her just-recalled Kilkenny rental.

Amendments to the Register of Members Interests 2015 (Oireachtas)


51 thoughts on “Buy To Forget

  1. ahjayzis

    Just a few weeks after a weak tweak to rental law was heavily debated by the government parties, with these clowns’ party the most against.

    The very *REASON* why we need to know where there’s conflicts of interest. Landlords in the Dail should recuse themselves from any vote or debate on tenant rights.

    1. rotide

      I highly doubt they’re the only 2 in the dail with rental properties.

      Your suggestion is unreasonable. Ideally, those in power should be looking after the peoples interests and not their own. Better to tackle the root causes rather than apply stupid band aids like ‘you can’t actually do the job you were elected to do because of this’

      1. ahjayzis

        It’s no different to the judiciary. I’m sure most judges can be trusted to be impartial – but it’s about avoiding even the perception of bias that’s crucial to faith in the system.

        Would you put a waste contractor in charge of waste collection in a local authority?

        Would you appoint the chairman of a private grind school as minister for education?

        Would you appoint a shareholder in a tobacco firm as minister for health? A board member of a private hospital?

        Conflicts of interests are a thing, there needs to be a system to deal with it. If not recusal, what?

        And that aside, surely you can agree that it’s grossly unacceptable for us to learn that a cabinet minister is a landlord *after* the cabinet has rejected rent controls.

    2. Junkface

      Agreed! x 1000!

      This is at the heart of the Rental/Housing problem in Ireland. Most of the Government are bloody Landlords! They’ve just been protecting their own interests, while letting housing speculation go through the roof.

      …And none of them are getting fined or prosecuted for suddenly remembering that they have properties rented out! One rule for them, one rule for the saps

      1. rotide

        You’re right, it is one rule for them and one rule for the saps.

        We don’t have to declare our rental properties to our jobs, they do.

        While Ahjayzis and Scottser make good points, It’s important not to descend into hysteria here. It’s not like they’re not paying the appropriate tax (i hope) on the incomes.

        1. Junkface

          My point was that they probably are *forgetting* to declare a lot of things on their income tax forms, in some numbers. It will come out soon enough, look at yer man Ivor Callely claming €80K in the expenses scandal, pure FF. But yes we need hard evidence before everyone loses their sh1t.

        2. Siobhan Bonham

          It’s Silly Season again, is it? ‘We don’t have to declare our rental properties to our jobs, they do.’ Well boohoo for them. Bear in mind though, as you wipe those tears from your eyes, that it is *they* who get to make the laws about rental properties that we are bound to adhere to. It is not ‘hysteria’ to suggest that TDs who rent out properties should be excluded from voting on legislation pertaining to capping of rents, etc. You obviously see no conflict of interest in this. There are many of us who disagree. We are not hysterical.

  2. rotide

    Are they the only 2 who revised their interests?

    Not declaring you have a rental property to the dail is kind of small potatoes compared to outright asking for a bribe like the lads on primetime. It does illustrate how powerful a light being shone on these sort of things is though.

    1. scottser

      it’s part of culture of non-declaration of interests and by extension the non-enforcement of regulations governing those declarations. the size of the potato in question is a moot point.

      1. rotide

        The size of the potato is not moot. These guys have (eventually) done the right thing and declared their properties.

        I’d much rather the little poopipe demanding 10 grand was arrested than hear more about this

        1. george

          They did not do the right thing. They did not make the declaration. They’ve only done it know that there is a scandal. This is not doing the right thing.

          1. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

            Jesus, Rotide, I’m not one for calling people blueshirts or shinners or any of that garbage, you complain about the blueshirt accusation being levelled at you, but you certainly are coming across as a shill for FG.

            Yeah, I stole a tenner on you, but that guy stole one hundred. Really, I’m the victim here…..

            Cop on to yourself.

    2. Charley

      40% of politicians couldn’t even be arsed filling in the forms, so no declaration at all. As the man said if the form is too difficult for them to understand maybe they should consider another profession.

    3. Siobhan Bonham

      ‘Not declaring you have a rental property to the dail is kind of small potatoes….’
      Against a backdrop of outright soliciting for money, perhaps. But it’s only ‘small potatoes’ because *they* have deemed it so.
      Ever filled in a form with Revenue? Ever notice the bit at the end that declares that ‘ false, incomplete or misleading information’ may lead to a fine and/or a custodial sentence.’
      However, a politician providing ‘ false, incomplete or misleading information’ just has to ‘amend’ the form and everything is hunky dory.
      Great when you make the rules, init?

      1. rotide

        Siobhan, you might have noticed that this is not in fact, the revenue. try to keep up.

        And yes, Not declaring you are a landlord IS small potatoes when compared to outright asking for a bribe.

        1. scottser

          And both seeking bribes and non declaration are all symptomatic of a culture of corruption. You dont compare and separate these things rotide, you add them up and look at a bigger picture.

        2. Siobhan Bonham

          Oh great – another condescending anonymous FGbot! \(• ◡ •)/

          The comparison with Revenue is valid. Both require that financial details are divulged – wholly and honestly. There are potential financial benefits to under-declaring assets to Revenue. There are potential financial benefits in not declaring potential conflict of interest to SIPO.

          But you continue with downplaying government corruption. Call it ‘small potatoes,’ when exposed. You’re fooling no one but yourself. But that’s okay – the deluded are easily led.

          1. rotide

            I’ll ask a simple question.

            What is the penalty for declaring false information to the revenue and what is the equaivalent penalty for SIPO?

            Not what it SHOULD be, but what it is.

          2. Anne

            No one is hear to answer your questions.. go find out and add something of value would you? Thanks Rotsy

        3. Siobhan Bonham

          As in, submitting a claim to Revenue, which excludes relevant information?

          I have already quoted the penalties outlined by them – fine and/or prison..

          Neglecting to include all relevant information to SIPO?

          Something along the lines of ‘Sorry, would you mind including your interests when you amend your submission?’

          Is that what you mean?

          1. Siobhan Bonham

            Your lack of reply would indicate that you agree with my original point. Good to see. Never too late to see the light.

            Now if you could just shake of the shackles of that ridiculous but invidious FGbot ideology, there might actually be some hope for you. That’s a good boy now!

    4. Tish Mahorey

      Stop excusing them Rotide. You’re part of the problem, ranking corruption on a scale. Very Irish.

  3. Clampers Outside!

    …in the early days of the internets one could buy property on the moon. I think these are the types of people that we are discovering here. People so daft, they’d buy anything, and they did. And amid the bags and receipts, moon pie, a house or two was misplaced. And the kangaroo ran away with the spoon. It’s all perfectly logical and understandable.

    1. scottser

      she can rent a room under the owner occupier scheme. if she’s renting out the lot and not living there, then you should report her without fear of recrimination – g’wan the protected disclosures act.

  4. phil

    This is a bit embarrassing but, is there anyone out there who may be renting a property from me? I cant be quite sure if I remember owning one or not…

  5. jeremy kyle

    Must remember to check down the sides of the couch for any properties that might have fallen out of my pockets when I get home.

  6. bisted

    …ah here…these are respected government ministers…it’s not as if they’d been robbing the ink cartridges or protesting.

  7. Pajo

    I am having trouble accessing the PRTB website….but if someone has time you could check if the rental property above has a registered tennancy with the PRTB.

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