Limerick Junior Minister remains tight-lipped on planning row

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD and Minister of State Niall Collins appearing on Virgin Media's Tonight Show.

Limerick Minister of State Niall Collins is remaining tight-lipped as the controversy surrounding his 2001 planning application continues.

Mr Collins appeared on The Tonight Show on Virgin Media last week, where he refused to answer questions about where he was living at the time he submitted a planning application for his family home in Patrickswell.

The controversy has followed the Fianna Fáil TD since The Ditch website claimed in an article last month that Mr Collins misrepresented his living circumstances when he stated in the application that he was living in his parents’ home at Red House Hill, Patrickswell, at the time the planning application was submitted.

Appearing on Virgin Media last week, the Minister of State would not be drawn on where he was living at the time of making the planning application, saying only that he “fully complied with planning policy”.

He added that he wouldn’t “go into his personal living circumstances” when pushed by presenter Claire Brock.

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“It’s not about where you were living, it’s about complying with policy. In order to comply with the planning policy, there were four criteria published within the 1999 Limerick County Development Plan,” Minister Collins told the presenter.

The Fianna Fáil TD has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in relation to the 2001 application, and that he qualified for planing permission based on the criteria set out by the local authority at the time.