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TD Liz rents office from Seanie's son

LABOUR TD Liz McManus is renting her constituency office from the son of rogue banker Sean FitzPatrick.

The politician's office, at 2 Belton House, Castle Street, Bray, has been owned by the family of the disgraced former Anglo Irish Bank boss for over a decade.

Ms McManus has been renting the office since 1994, and Labour MEP Nessa Childers also used the office as a base during her successful 2009 European election, when Ms McManus was her director of elections.

Documents seen by the Herald from the Registry of Deeds Office show the building was owned by Sean FitzPatrick until September 2000, when it was signed over to his son, Jonathan.

Taxpayers are therefore paying Sean FitzPatrick's son thousands of euro annually on the TD's behalf, since she is entitled to claim her rent back as an expense. It is believed the property is out of the reach of FitzPatrick's creditors as it was signed over a decade ago.

However, Ms McManus insists she would be breaking the law if she broke her lease, which lasts another five years.

And while she admits that she has met Sean FitzPatrick, and knew it was previously owned by him, she says that she hasn't met his son.

"I don't deal with the owner. I rent from the estate agent."

Ms McManus said she has no intention of seeking another property. "I don't have any choice. I have a legal contract. I don't think that anyone would want their TD to break the law.

According to the latest Oireachtas expenses documents, Ms McManus, who recently announced her intention not to run for election for the next Dail, is availing of the vouched expenses payments which entitles her to over €25,000 every year to pay for her office in Bray.