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Sunday 23 September 2018

Michael Healy-Rae is Dail's biggest landlord, along with land and plant hire company

Michael Healy-Rae
Michael Healy-Rae
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae is ranked second on today's Sunday Independent Political Rich List with an estimated value of €5.4m.

Mr Healy-Rae is by far the Dail's biggest landlord with 10 rental properties in Kerry and Tipperary.

His substantial property portfolio also includes land, business premises and his family home in Kilgarven.

Research by the Sunday Independent and financial analyst Karl Deeter estimates his vast property holdings are worth €4m.

Mr Healy-Rae also has several business interests including a plant hire company, a service station and a post office.

The research project estimates his business value to be around €1m.

Meanwhile, the public service pension he has accumulated over his seven years as a TD would be worth more than €400,000 if it was bought on private market.

However, when questioned about his extensive property portfolio, Mr Healy-Rae resorted to foul language and personal insults.

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Mr Healy-Rae said it was "load of s***" when he was asked to confirm the 18 properties and pieces of land he has listed on the Dail Register of Members' Interests.

Over the course of a three-minute telephone conversation, the deputy shouted: "You'd swear I'm some sort of criminal.

"Any time I could lose my seat, I could be on my arse," he added.

Mr Healy-Rae, a married father of five, then moved on to personal family insults directed at the journalist asking questions about his assets.

"I have said it before about people educating children and sending them to school and getting them jobs and you end up in a job that you have there insulting your parents' work and their savings by being a stupid journalist writing rubbish," he said.

Mr Healy-Rae told the Sunday Independent he is "up to my eyes in debt and trying to pay off mortgages every week".

Mr Healy-Rae's brother Danny is ranked 50th in the Political Rich List with an estimated value of €1.6m.

Our analysis shows Danny Healy-Rae's land and properties to have an estimated value of around of €525,000. His business interests are worth €925,000. This includes a plant hire company and pub. Danny is a first-time TD and the current worth of his pension on the private market is €13,000.

Danny has become the more prominent of the two brothers since he was elected through his Dail contributions on climate change and drink-driving legislation.

Michael is the biggest but not the only landlord in the Dail. Analysis of the Dail declaration of interests shows one fifth of TDs have rental properties.

The 30 landlords include Tanaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

Five more Fine Gael TDs listed investment properties or rental incomes among their declared interests or said they are landlords. Dublin Bay South TD Kate O'Connell has five investment properties, two in Westmeath and three in Dublin.

The list also includes Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail, 12 other Fianna Fail TDs, Labour TD Alan Kelly and four more Independent TDs including former minister Sean Canney, who has four letting properties.


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