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Junior Minister Niall Collins insists he acted correctly in planning application for new house

The Limerick County TD said ‘false statements’ have been made about him by a news website, which reported that he included misleading information in a planning application


Junior minister Niall Collins. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Junior minister Niall Collins. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Junior minister Niall Collins. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

A junior minister has said he acted correctly when making a planning application in 2001.

Minister of State for Further and Higher Education Niall Collins said “false statements” have been made about him by website The Ditch, which reported that he included misleading information in a planning application.

In a statement issued on Monday night, the Limerick County Fianna Fáil TD said he is “satisfied” he acted correctly.

He said he will seek a copy of planning permission from Limerick County Council on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow I will request a copy of my planning application of 2001 from the Council but I am satisfied that at all times I have acted correctly in my planning application and in my instruction to a planning agent in relation to the application on my behalf,” he said.

Mr Collins, who was not an elected representative at the time, applied for planning permission for a house in Patrickswell, Co Limerick, on his father’s land.

For the planning permission to be granted, Mr Collins would have had to show he had a housing need.

He has rejected allegations that he gave misleading information as he already owned a home in Fr Russell Road in Dooradoyle Limerick.

“At that time I met the requirements for planning permission in the area – known as the ‘pressure area’. Separately the property I owned on the Fr Russell Road in Dooradoyle, Limerick, was not in the ‘pressure area’,” he said.

“In 2004 I was elected Cllr to Limerick County Council and thereafter the Council introduced a new planning policy in relation to housing need.”

He said he is currently seeking legal advice in regards to a report on The Ditch website.

“The false statements made about me by The Ditch website are currently being examined by my legal advisors.”

The TD for Limerick County has served as a Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education since 2020.

Former Fine Gael junior minister Damien English resigned earlier this year after it emerged in an article by The Ditch that he had lied on a planning application.

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