HEALTH Minister James Reilly is preparing to defend an action being taken against him by a firm of Dublin architects he hired.
PM Group (Ireland) claims it is owed money for work done on one of Dr Reilly's private property deals.
Documents filed with the High Court show that Dr Reilly and his two partners in the Airside Clinic in Swords are fighting the action, and have hired law firm Downes Solicitors, which has filed a memo of "entry of appearance" with the court.
A date has yet to be set for a hearing.
The case dates from September this year, when PM Group first sued Dr Reilly and the other investors in the clinic, Dr David Reilly and Dr Stan Natin, as well as Airside Clinic itself over alleged unpaid professional fees.
At the time, Dr Reilly said he "utterly" rejected that he owed PM Group any money and vowed to fight the claim.
In July, the minister became the first cabinet member in the history of the State to be named in the 'Stubbs Gazette' list of debt defaulters.
He and a syndicate of business partners were named after they failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to pay a business debt of €1.9m.
PM Group was hired in 2007 to draw up plans for a multi-million euro, four-storey private medical centre at Airside in Swords, Co Dublin.
Planning permission was granted for the proposed site in 2010, but the sod was never turned.
The property crash has ended hopes of developing the scheme, and the land was put on the market last May at a knock-down price.
PM Group (Ireland) is a branch of a global construction services group that specialises in high-end architectural and civil engineering services.