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Fine Gael TD resigns amid planning controversy

Fine Gael TD Damien English has resigned as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment amid controversy surrounding a planning application he made in 2008.

The move comes following revelations on The Ditch website, which English responded to in a statement.

“Yesterday in an online article, questions were raised about my planning application from 14 years ago,” he said.

“I reviewed this application, made in 2008, and it is clear to me that I failed to inform Meath County Council about ownership of my house in Castlemartin.

“This was wrong, not up to the standard required and I apologise for doing so.

“I would like to thank the people of Meath West for their ongoing support as their TD. I will continue to serve them and work hard on their behalf in the constituency.

“I thank the Taoiseach and parliamentary colleagues for their support during my time as Minister of State. I will continue to support the Taoiseach and colleagues in Government as they continue to deliver on the programme for Government.”

Reacting to the decision, Green Party Minister of State for Charities and Community Development Joe O’Brien said it was the right move.

“It is clear that his behaviour was not up to standard of what is expected, rightly expected of all of us. I think he has made the right decision today,” he said speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“That is quite a serious omission. And I think he made the right decision to resign today.”

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