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FG Minister is sued over €1.3m debt by Danske


John Perry

John Perry

John Perry

John Perry, the Fine Gael Minister for Small Business, is being taken to court by Danske Bank which is seeking repayment of close to €1.3m in loans racked up during the property boom.

The Sligo TD owns a number of businesses and properties in and around his Ballymote power base. The latest register of Oireachtas members' interests lists his assets as including a supermarket, apartment, funeral home, 70 acres of land in various locations and offices in Ballymote and Sligo town.

Mortgage documents show he borrowed from Danske Bank, EBS and Irish life & Permanent against a number of properties during the boom and before the property market crashed in late 2007.

Registry of Deeds records show Mr Perry has a mortgage with Irish Life & Permanent on an apartment in Islandbridge.

It is understood his combined borrowings owed to Danske and state-owned banks have touched €5m. Sources have suggested he has considered selling his local supermarket to a larger chain to help pay down debt.

Legal sources said Danske was moving against Mr Perry to seek a judgement in the High Court. The minister did not comment when asked by the Sunday Independent last week.

Mr Perry's finances have come under increased scrutiny since it emerged he had been landed with an unregistered judgement by Airtricity over a €13,000 debt two years ago. Last August he was embroiled in a court action over a disputed €1.3m debt.

Despite these financial reverses and credit issues, Mr Perry was given a new loan by state-owned AIB last year. Registry documents show a mortgage in favour of AIB was registered over one of his land assets in Stonepark, Ballymote, on June 13, 2012. The charge over the property is held by AIB mortgage bank.

Mr Perry was appointed as minister for Small Business by Enda Kenny in March 2011. One of the key issues faced by small business operators is the failure of banks to provide credit. The minister has called on institutions to increase lending.

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