Time for Perry to stop dodging questions and provide answers
Published 29/07/2013 | 04:00
A simple "no comment" will no longer suffice for John Perry. The Minister for Small Business has batted away queries about his personal finances – from this media organisation and others – for more than a year by stonewalling and using legal threats.
That strategy succeeded for a while, but not any more, as details of his €2.5m debts and contacts with the head of state-owned AIB bank emerge.
Mr Perry's situation is typical of many who own small firms and now find themselves under unrelenting pressure from the banks as the Celtic Tiger years come back to bite them.
Many will sympathise with him, but many more are asking questions, such as how can a Minister for Small Business be credible when he has such a financial shadow hanging over him?
Mr Perry has been given until September 2 to discharge his debts, and the final answer to whether or not he can pull himself out of the hole he finds himself in will be answered then.
But even leaving that aside, he needs to tell the public how he has reached this pass and reassure them that it will not impede on his ability to carry out his ministerial duties.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny also needs to comprehensively address Mr Perry's situation. If neither can provide answers, then Mr Perry needs to consider his position – or Mr Kenny should consider it for him.