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TDs sold off their properties as house prices hit new records in recent years


Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney sold a quayside apartment in Cork in 2019. Photo: Niall Carson

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney sold a quayside apartment in Cork in 2019. Photo: Niall Carson

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney sold a quayside apartment in Cork in 2019. Photo: Niall Carson

Several TDs have been selling off their properties as house prices skyrocketed over recent years, it can be revealed.

High-profile TDs off-loaded additional properties they own while house prices were hitting record prices.

Details of the property sales emerged during the two-month long Political Rich List investigation which revealed the wealth and assets held by the country’s most senior politicians.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney sold a quayside apartment in Cork for €325,000 in 2019, according to the Property Price Register.

Mr Coveney is one of the Dáil’s richest TDs ranked ninth on the Political Rich List with an estimated value of €2.5m due to his significant pension and property values.

Former Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan sold a Dublin city centre apartment last year for €344,000

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly sold a house in the Dublin suburbs where he once lived for €285,000. Mr Kelly bought the property at the height of the Celtic Tiger years and did not make a profit from its sale last year.

Minister of State Martin Heydon sold a property he owned in Wexford for just over €200,000 last year.

Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú is in the process of selling a a house he owns in Co Louth which had an asking price of €215,000.

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell also recently sold a house he owns for around €325,000.

In 2017, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness sold off a number of properties he owned including two houses in Dublin which sold for €392,500 and €325,000.

The most recent Central Statistic Office report showed property prices have increased 8.6pc nationally in the last year. Property prices have now risen 99pc from their lowest level in 2013.

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Prices in Dublin are 106.8pc higher than their lowest point in February 2012 and outside the capital prices doubled since their low point in May 2013.

The Political Rich List revealed the combined wealth of the Dáil is an estimated €181m.

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.

It also emerged Taoiseach Micheál Martin owns four properties but only declares one in his Standard in Public Office (Sipo) declaration.

Mr Martin owns a house, constituency office and two holiday homes in Cork. One of the holiday homes is jointly owned and is part of an inheritance he received. He also lives in an apartment, which is owned by his wife, when he is in Dublin on government business. He is not obliged to declare any of these property interests under the current Sipo rules.

The Political Rich List also revealed Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald lives in a luxurious five-bedroom and four-bathroom house worth an estimated €1m in one of the most sought after addresses in her constituency.

According to Property Price Register, she and her husband bought a house on the same site at the bottom of the market in 2010 for €517,000.

Dublin City Council planning records show she sought permission to build an 11-room house on the same site.

This article was amended on September 27, 2021

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