Ceann Comhairle and Kildare South TD, Sean O’Fearghail, is Kildare’s wealthiest TD, and his Fianna Fail party colleague, Deputy Frank O’Rourke, the poorest, according to a newspaper survey published May 13.
The Sunday Independent’s Political Rich list estimated Deputy O’Fearghail was worth over €4.2m in assets with 54% held in property and 46% in pensions. It also put him the sixth wealthiest TD in the Dail.
The newspaper valued pensions. The estimated value of these represented 39% of the combined wealth of the seven TD’s, three in Kildare South and four in Kildare North.
The newspaper gave a number of reasons why the figures may not apply across all TD’s.
Apart from pension estimates it based the survey on the Oireachtas Register of Member’s interests.
For this, TD’s do not have to declare their family homes. Some did so, including Kildare North Fine Gael Deputy Bernard Durkan (FG), the third wealthiest with a total value of €2.79m, including €1.73m in pension and €1m in property.
If a rural TD owned a second property in Dublin, which they occupied when attending Dail, that does not have to be declared either. The newspaper said some declared such properties. Others did not.
Only one declared a shareholding, Social Democrat, Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy, whose assets included €13,000 in shares, an estimated €755,588 in pension funds and €233,000 in property.
Deputy O’Fearghail (FF) had an estimated €2.28m in property and Deputy Martin Heydon (FG), estimated as the seventh wealthiest TD in the Dail, had an estimated €3.78m in property.
With €327,689 in pensions, that gave him a wealth of €4.11m.
The newer TD’s had lower pension estimates, ranging from €136,609 (FF’s Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin) to €122,164 for Deputy Frank O’Rourke.
They also had relatively low declared property interests, €265,000 for Deputy James Lawless (FF), €140,000 for Deputy O’Loughlin and €149,950 for Deputy Frank O’Rourke.
The poorest TD, in total, by these estimates, was Deputy O’Rourke, down at 136 in the Dail Rich List, with a total of €272,115, narrowly worse off than Deputy O’Loughlin (€275,609) and Deputy Lawless (€379,049).