Chief executive and housing head among Mayo County Council’s landlords – one in five senior staff let properties

Mayo County Council’s chief executive and its head of housing are among 40 senior staff who together own 68 rental properties.

Four of these staff members have contracts with the council to rent their properties for social housing use. 

Another is the director of a family-owned company that last year received more than €300,000 from the local authority, while another who lets out two properties is also running a caravan park and tourism business.

Up to seven rental properties each

Of Mayo County Council’s 1,300 employees, 228 are considered senior staff or work directly in housing. These staff members submit declarations of interests each year. 

According to the 2022-2023 register, 40 of these 228 employees own 68 rental properties between them.

Among the landlords is council chief executive Kevin Kelly who rents out his apartment in the Galway suburb of Renmore. Director of housing services Thomas Gilligan owns two rental properties, also in Galway city. 

Last year Gilligan was challenged on the local authority’s record of delivering housing in county Mayo.

“We need more homes but the private sector has to step up and we need private and small landlords to stop fleeing the market as the current lack of rental accommodation in the county is unsustainable,” said Gilligan during a debate in July 2022. 

In September this year, a senior council architect advertised his Dundrum, south Dublin three-bedroom home to rent for €3,200 a month. 

At least four senior staff are paid directly by the council to lease their properties for social housing.

At the top of the list is a senior official who owns seven rental properties in counties Mayo, Sligo and Dublin. 

Another employee who owns five rental properties in Castlebar, county Mayo also operates two pubs in the town and is a director and co-owner of a Dublin-based property investment company. Meanwhile a senior engineer in the local authority owns six rental properties in two counties. 

The list also includes a senior employee who owns two rental properties and operates a caravan park and another tourism business outside his employment with the council. 

Another engineer, who owns a small block of three apartments in Galway city, co-directs with her husband a company that was paid more than €310,000 last year for electrical services it provided to the council.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors