THE €181m wealth of the country’s most powerful politicians can be revealed in an exclusive analysis of the assets and lucrative pension pots held by TDs.
The Irish Independent’s Political Rich List established there are 68 millionaires in the Dáil based on a detailed examination of the value of their properties, land, businesses, shareholdings and pensions.
The two-month long research project, in conjunction with financial analyst Karl Deeter, provides voters with a unique insight into the wealth of the politicians elected to run the country.
The project revealed Taoiseach Micheál Martin owns four different properties – this includes his home, his constituency office and two holiday homes, one of which he jointly owns after receiving it as part of an inheritance.
Separately, it emerged the Taoiseach lives in an apartment in one of the capital’s most sought-after areas, which is owned by his wife, when staying in Dublin.
The Taoiseach only declares his Cork constituency office in the Register of Members’ Interest for the Dáil.
He is not required to declare either of the houses he lives in or his holiday homes under the rules set out by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
It also emerged a property in Kerry declared as a holiday home in the Dáil register by Labour Party leader Alan Kelly is available to rent on short-term leasing website Airbnb.
The property has been on the holiday rental website for a number of years, but Mr Kelly is not required to declare himself a landlord as he has not received more than €2,600 in rent in any year.
Fine Gael TDs Michael Creed and Ciarán Cannon both have holiday homes which are declared in the Dáil’s register, even though they are not required to do so.
However, Fianna Fáil TD Seán Haughey does not declare a holiday home he owns in Kerry.
Meanwhile, Limerick County TD Richard O’Donoghue admitted he did not declare land he owns, but said he would contact the Oireachtas to update his Dáil declaration after the discrepancy was highlighted by the Irish Independent.
“I have made an amendment to the declaration and this is with the clerk of the Dáil,” he said.
The Dáil’s richest TD is Michael Lowry, with wealth of €7.3m. The figure is based on his refrigeration business being worth an estimated €3m, coupled with a €2.7m property portfolio and a pension pot which would cost €1.5m to buy on the private market.
Former education minister Richard Bruton is the second richest TD, with pension and property assets totalling an estimated €6.2m.
The Dáil’s biggest landlord Michael Healy-Rae, with an estimated value of €6m, is the third richest. The majority of his wealth is from his 16 rental properties and land worth around €4.7m.
Mr Haughey is fourth on the list with property, significant share holdings and pension pot totalling €4.8m. The son of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey has a diverse portfolio including shares in Pfizer, Amazon and Walt Disney. The richest constituency is Mr Haughey and Mr Bruton’s Dublin Bay North, followed by Tipperary and Kerry.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is ranked 16 on the list with wealth totalling €2.4m, which includes a property worth around €1.3m.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is 46th on the list with a value of €1.3m.
The richest female TD is Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall at just over €2m, mostly due to her pension, which is estimated to be worth €1.5m.
Labour TD Ivana Bacik is the second richest female TD in the Dáil, with a wealth of almost €1.934m.
The third wealthiest female TD is Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, with wealth valued at just over €1.9m. This includes a luxury home in her Dublin constituency estimated to be valued at around €1m.
There is a clear gender divide among the TDs based on their wealth. The Rich List shows that of the 68 millionaires in the Dáil just seven are female. The combined wealth of female TDs is estimated to be around €25m, while their male counterparts are valued at €156m.
Overall, there are fewer millionaires in the current Dáil than in the last one. The 2018 Political Rich List found there were 73 millionaires in the Dáil.