More than 150 acres of farmland, a property portfolio, a beauty salon: One Fine Gael councillor failing to declare

A Fine Gael Meath county councillor didn’t declare his ownership of 150 acres of farmland, a significant property portfolio, rental income he receives, as well as a beauty salon.

Though veteran politician Eugene Cassidy has registered a residential tenancy with the RTB, he hasn’t declared he’s a landlord of the Johnstown property in his ethics register. 

A close ally of constituency colleague Helen McEntee, Cassidy would not comment when asked why he didn’t declare rental income from three properties he co-owns with his wife.

Councillors who don’t declare their shareholdings and property holdings face up to two years’ imprisonment under ethics legislation.

Big holdings. Big failures to declare

Nobber-based Fine Gael councillor Eugene Cassidy only declared income from farming and his directorship of ECB Developments Ltd, according to his annual ethics declaration.

He failed however to declare rental income and his interest in a substantial portfolio of properties.

Cassidy and his wife since 2007 are the owners of a building in Johnstown village, Navan that contains two commercial units and an apartment, according to Land Registry records. 

He failed to declare ownership of the three properties and the rental income he receives from them. 

The Fine Gael man lets out one of the Johnstown village commercial properties to a limited company he co-owns with his wife. The company pays them €21,876 a year in rent, according to accounts filed with the CRO in 2022. 

The apartment overhead is currently being let, according to the RTB register. 

Though Cassidy declared his directorship of EBC Developments Ltd, he failed to disclose his 50 percent shareholding in the company that operates as a beauty clinic on the outskirts of Navan town. The firm’s most recent accounts show it has net assets of €92,304.

The former cathaoirleach of Kells Local Electoral Area is also the owner of just over 90 acres of land in Possexstown, county Meath, registered under two separate folios. 

He also co-owns another 61 acres of farmland with his brother in the same area. He didn’t declare either of these landholdings in his most recent declaration of interests.

Four years ago Cassidy successfully applied for permission to develop a guesthouse in the courtyard of Possexstown House, a protected structure. 

Though the registered owner of the property is his father Patrick who passed away in 2011, Cassidy declared he was the legal owner on an application form submitted to Meath County Council in 2019. He didn’t declare his interest in this property either.

Cassidy was first elected to Meath County Council in 2004 and was reelected in 2009, 2014 and 2019. He was chosen to run again for Fine Gael at the 2024 local elections at a selection convention earlier this year attended by party colleague and ally justice minister Helen McEntee.

Earlier this week The Ditch reported that Cassidy’s Meath County Council party colleague councillor Suzanne Jamal falsely claimed to be a single parent renter to gain planning permission to build a second house.

Cassidy declined to comment. 

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors