Sinn Féin TD didn't mention payments received for housing refugee in anti-open borders Dáil speech

Sinn Féin TD and party justice spokesperson Pa Daly is receiving €800 a month tax-free for housing a Ukrainian refugee in his second home in Dublin. 

Daly claimed in the Dáil today, in remarks illustrative of Sinn Féin’s rightward move on immigration, that some people are “cashing in” on providing asylum seeker accommodation and making “huge amounts of money”. 

The Kerry TD only signed up for the scheme after government doubled the monthly payment.

Daly told The Ditch that before he joined the government scheme he and his family used the Dublin property, which doesn’t appear in his Dáil register of interests.

Property portfolio

Pa Daly and his wife bought the Dublin city centre investment property in summer 2020 for just more than €300,000, according to the Property Price Register.

The pair funded their purchase with a Permanent TSB mortgage and became registered owners in February 2021, according to Land Registry records. 

Daly has never declared his ownership of the Dublin property in his Dáil declarations since he was first elected as a TD for Kerry in 2020. He told The Ditch that up until six months ago the property was for his family’s use, which would exempt the requirement to declare his interest in the property till January next year.

Earlier this year the Tralee-based solicitor declared rental income during 2022 from a building on Rock Street in the county Kerry town but it is unclear if this relates to a commercial or residential property.

Land Registry records show that Daly owns three properties in Tralee, a house just outside Skibbereen and his property in Dublin city centre. He recently found a buyer for his Caheragh, Skibbereen farmhouse which had been on the market for €225,000.

Daly said some providers were “cashing in” and making “huge amounts of money” from providing accommodation to asylum seekers during an immigration debate in the Dáil earlier today. He also said that Sinn Féin does “not believe in an open border policy”.

In a statement to The Ditch, the Sinn Féin TD confirmed he’s receiving €800 a month for housing a man under the Accommodation Recognition Payment for Ukrainian refugees. 

“That (Dublin) house is for my use and that of my family. No tenancy is required. I receive the usual amount as I allow a Ukrainian stay under the scheme for the last five/six months,” he said. 

It's unclear if he and his family still use the property while hosting the refugee.

The Accommodation Recognition Payment is a monthly tax-free payment of €800 available to property owners providing accommodation to Ukrainian refugees. The payment was increased from €400 a month in December 2022. 

Last year Leo Varadkar confirmed he had been hosting a Ukrainian refugee at his residence in Dublin since May 2022, before the introduction of the government scheme. The Ditch understands that Varadkar has not received any payments under the state scheme.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors