Micheál Martin Says Under-Fire Minister Niall Collins Has Done Nothing Wrong

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A Dáil TD has says he’s done nothing wrong amid Limerick county council’s decision in 2007 to put a property up for sale that was ultimately bought by his wife.

Niall Collins was a member of council when it agreed in January of that year to sell the property.

Mr Collins attended that meeting, according to reporting by The Ditch website, and the property was subsequently purchased by his wife in September 2008.

Mr Collins had left the council to become a Teachta Dála (TD) by then.

However, responding, Mr Collins said neither he nor his wife “had any pecuniary or beneficial interest in that property” when he was a councillor.

In a statement, Mr Collins, confirmed it was agreed to put the property up for sale after a council meeting in January 2007.

He added that the property was sold to his wife, Eimear O’Connor, “following a transparent and open sales process which was open to all“.

Mr Collins said this was after the property had been advertised, 21 months after the council decision and 16 months after he had left council to become a TD.

Tánaiste and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said today that he is satisfied with Mr Collins’ account.

The Tánaiste says the committee that Junior Minister Collins was on, that discussed the land did not have the power to approve the sale.

Fianna Fáil leader Martin added that “in hindsight” Deputy Collins should have recused himself from a local area committee meeting, but added that the Limerick politician had not broken any laws and the land was sold at a time when he was no longer a council member.

Mr Collins is likely to face further questions about the allegations in the Dáil this week.

In a message on Twitter, Rise-Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy wrote: “Finally he speaks. Let’s see if he agrees to appear before the Dáil and answer questions about it this week.”