Meath TD Damien English Quits After Lie To County Council Is Exposed

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Fine Gael - Damian English - Meath West

The Junior Minister Damien English has admitted he was wrong to provide incorrect information on a planning application.

He has resigned from his position after he failed to inform Meath County Council of his ownership of his house in Castlemartin.

It follows a planning application he made in 2008 for his family home, where he didn’t inform County Council members that he already owned a property in the county.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he was informed by the deputy last night that 14 years ago, when applying for planning permission, he made a declaration that was not correct.

It was his view given the circumstances that his position was not tenable and the Taoiseach agreed and accepted his resignation.

Attention now turns to the potential candidates to replace him, with speculation centring on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown TD Neale Richmond and Clare TD Joe Carey.

To get permission for one off rural housing in Meath you must be a local, prove that you don’t have a home while establishing that you have a housing need.

Damien English spent four years as a Junior Minister in the Department of Housing, having served as Enterprise Junior Minister to Leo Varadkar before December’s swap a job.

The Irish Independent reports that the Meath West TD, said his non-declaration of the Castlemartin property on the Dáil register of interests was within the rules laid down by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Ditch reports that the Minister of State bought the property in 2004 and lived there for six years before moving to a new home in Cookstown, Kells.

A statement was issued by the Minister of State this morning:

“I have informed the Taoiseach last night of my decision to resign as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Yesterday in an online article, questions were raised about my planning application from 14 years ago. I reviewed this application, made in 2008, and it is clear to me that I failed to inform Meath County Council about ownership of my house in Castlemartin.

This was wrong, not up to the standard required and I apologise for doing so.

I would like to thank the people of Meath West for their ongoing support as their TD. I will continue to serve them and work hard on their behalf in the constituency.

I thank the Taoiseach and parliamentary colleagues for their support during my time as Minister of State. I will continue to support the Taoiseach and colleagues in Government as they continue to deliver on the programme for Government.

I would like to recognise the support and sacrifice of Laura and my family at all times.”