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FF candidate failed to declare rental income

A HIGH-PROFILE Fianna Fail election candidate has admitted that he failed to declare tens of thousands of euro he received from his own local authority.

The mayor of Galway, Michael Crowe, is at the centre of an alleged breach of ethics laws after a formal complaint was made to Galway City Council. Mr Crowe is contesting the general election for Fianna Fail in Galway West.

The complaint, submitted three weeks ago, concerns income of around €40,000 a year which Mr Crowe is making from his own council for properties under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

RAS contracts guarantee participating landlords year-round payment of rental income by the local authority, whether the property is occupied or not.

Under ethics laws, Mr Crowe was required to declare this income each year but he failed to do so on his 2008 submission.

The most recent records showed that he had 11 investment properties in Galway.

Contacted by the Irish Independent, Mr Crowe admitted that he failed to declare his RAS income in 2008. He said it was subsequently declared.

"This was a genuine mistake, there was no attempt to intentionally deceive," Mr Crowe said.

He questioned the timing of the complaint and said the RAS scheme had been introduced the previous year and he was not aware at that time that the income should be declared.

Irish Independent