Landlord TD who backed government on eviction ban misled local council to get permission for rental property

One of the so-called independent TDs – himself a landlord – who is to effectively back government on the abolition of the eviction ban misled his local council to secure planning permission for a rental property.

Ex-Progressive Democrats leader Noel Grealish told Galway County Council he wanted to build a house for himself in the Galway Gaeltacht. Soon after the house was built however Grealish put it on the rental market.

When he applied for permission for the property, Grealish also didn’t inform the council about the Dublin city centre apartment he owns. The Regional Independent Group TD claimed to be living with his parents at the time.

Grealish has indicated he will today abstain from voting on a Dáil motion to extend the eviction ban.

‘I want to build a house for myself’

Noel Grealish in December 2003 applied to Galway County Council for permission to build a two-storey house on a Claregalway site he'd bought in 1999.

He failed to declare his plans to let out the property – which he began doing about a year after its completion.

Grealish said in his planning application form that the proposed dwelling would be used for his “own occupation”.

“I want to build a house for myself,” he wrote when asked if there was any additional information he wanted to submit in support of his application.

Grealish began letting the Gaeltacht property in 2007, about a year after its completion. It's remained let since according to the Dáil register.

The Galway West TD also failed to declare in his planning application that he already owned a Dublin apartment.

Grealish in August 2003, just more than a year after first being elected to the Dáil, bought an apartment on Windmill Lane, Dublin 2. He first occupied the apartment and didn’t let it out until 2013, according to his Dáil register of interests.

He was required to “substantiate a housing need” according to the supplementary rural housing need form he submitted with his application.

When asked about his current accommodation the then 38-year-old claimed he was living in his “parents’ home” in Carnmore, Co Galway.

Grealish still owns the Dublin 2 apartment, which is for “personal use” according to his latest declaration of interests published last month.

Grealish is a member of the Dáil Committee on Members Interests, which hears complaints against TDs accused of breaching ethics rules. He was a member of the Progressive Democrats until the party disbanded in 2009 and previously served as the party’s Dáil spokesperson for rural planning.

He declined to comment.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors