Over 40 homes, but Fahey says he's not rich
Former minister Frank Fahey, who has topped the list of property owners in the Dail, insisted yesterday that he was "not wealthy by any means".
The Galway West deputy, who either fully or partly owns more than 40 properties around the world -- as well as a share portfolio and an interest in a construction company -- claimed that his bank manager was not very happy at the moment.
And, in an extraordinary defence of how he had amassed his personal property portfolio, Mr Fahey alleged that he had been the subject of "an unbelievable and orchestrated campaign" over the past couple of years.
But gardai in Galway confirmed yesterday there was no new information about claims made by Mr Fahey two years ago that certain people in his Galway West constituency had waged a campaign of rumour and innuendo against him.
In the Register of Members' Interests published by Dail Eireann, Mr Fahey confirmed he either owned outright or had shareholdings in apartments, houses, retail units and warehouses across Ireland, France, Brussels, Dubai and in the US.
His extensive share portfolio includes blue-chip names such as Bank of Ireland, Eircom, Grafton, Kingspan, Irish Life and Permanent and McInerney Properties.
In an interview on the 'Keith Finnegan Show' on Galway Bay FM yesterday, Mr Fahey pointed out that he had been cleared by the Standards in Public Office Commission following a complaint about him, made by former Green Party leader Trevor Sargent
Referring to current property interests, he said: "It is a sad thing that there is so much attention paid to some people's declaration of interests.
"Some of the national media ... the way they have treated me, and the orchestrated campaign against me over the last couple of years, has been unbelievable," he said.
"All I can do is put my hand on my heart and say that my integrity, my credibility, is absolutely intact. I have never done anything wrong.
"If I was to give advice to people, I would say, go out and buy some property now. It's great value."