Saturday 25 October 2014

Minister John Perry accused of getting ‘soft loans’ in angry row with property developer caught on video

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent

Published 30/04/2014 | 11:02

A FINE GAEL Minister has been angrily confronted on video by a property developer and accused of taking "soft loans" from banks while farmers in his constituency are being "thrown off farms"

Junior Minister John Perry was giving an address to an business network meeting in Dublin this week when he was confronted by developer Jerry Beades, a  member of the lobby group, the New Land League.

Mr Beades, who is a former member of the Fianna Fail national executive and an associate of TD Mattie McGrath, interrupted the meeting demanding to know why Mr Perry as a minister was being given special treatment by the banks while others were being evicted from their homes and farms.

Mr Perry said that he did not get any special treatment from banks.

Last year, Sligo-based Mr Perry and his wife consented to a €2.5 million judgment against them by Danske Bank for unpaid loans. It emerged that the minister later received a loan from state-owned AIB, despite his considerable credit issues.

Mr Beades said at the meeting: "You got €2.5 million, how did you get €2.5 million out of AIB? Danske Bank have judgments against while people of Roscommon are being put out of farms. You got a soft touch, you haven't answered in the Dail, you haven't answered your parliamentary colleagues.

Junior minister John Perry
Junior minister John Perry
Jerry Beades

"Can you please answer the question of how you got loans? You haven't disclosed it, you are a public representative. You should be disclosing it. The people of Roscommon and Leitrim want to know how you got soft loans."

"I didn't get soft loans," the minister is heard responding.

"Yes you got soft loans," Beades is seen replying as organisers of the meeting attempted to intervene.

When the MC of the event is heard saying that the minister might “deal with the question at the end of the meeting during a questions and answers session”. But Mr Beades demanded answers immediately.

"The minister has refused to answer these questions for the past number of months, I'm sorry for interrupting the meeting. The people asked us to come here to ask the questions the minister won’t answer in the parliament," Mr Beades said.

The confrontation took place at a public meeting on Tuesday evening in the EU offices In Molesworth Street.

Mr Beades and his fellow protesters agreed to leave only when Gardai were arrived.

The video of the confrontation was posted on YouTube.

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