Minister of State Robert Troy has said he is embarrassed to have inaccurately filed his Oireachtas register of members’ interests documents.
“I didn’t give the process the due diligence that it deserved,” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One. “I hold my hand up, I admit that. I thought I had got it right but I didn’t.”
Mr Troy apologised to his constituents, the Dáil and said: “I made a very serious mistake.”
Mr Troy is coming under increasing pressure to provide further details around the value of rental contracts he has with Westmeath County Council.
The Longford-Westmeath TD has been at the centre of controversy for failing to declare details of his property interests.
Last week he made wide-ranging amendments to declarations made for various years in the Oireachtas register of members’ interests. He also apologised for errors in his returns.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin again defended Mr Troy on Monday, but Opposition parties said more information and a full statement in the Dáil were needed.
Speaking to RTÉ on Tuesday the Minister said the root of the issue was that he misinterpreted the requirements of the return when he failed to disclose all his property holdings. Mr Troy said he thought he had to include only holdings in place on the last day of the year of the return.
The Fianna Fáil Minister said he currently had six properties – three in his own name and three in a partnership agreement. One of the properties was sublet into three units and another into four units.
“So in total I have 11 properties at the moment, nine of which are rented out,” Mr Troy said.
Mr Troy rejected any allegation he had tried to conceal his property interests. “I did not try to conceal anything. There was an error in my interpretation.”
As soon as the error was identified, he made a complete new amendment to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo), he added.
Mr Troy said he takes “full responsibility for my errors” and has “absolutely nothing to hide”.
“I never tried to use my public position for private gain,” Mr Troy said.