Monday 18 November 2019

Asset sell-off wouldn't go half way to clearing debts

Anita Guidera

THE assets of embattled Junior Minister John Perry – if sold on today's market – wouldn't even go half way towards serving his current debt.

An estate agent based in the north-west yesterday valued the south Sligo TD's total portfolio at a generous €1.186m, less than half the €2.47m judgement that has been secured against Mr Perry and his wife Marie by Danske Bank.

The Ballymote-based businessman, who once famously declared that his mission was to "put Ballymote on the map", invested heavily in expanding his core business and building a property empire during the boom.

But the value of his 10-piece portfolio has plummeted.

The extended supermarket owned by Perry on the Main Street in Ballymote is being leased and the building is worth a maximum of €250,000, according to an experienced estate agent in the region.

But he added that if the business was being sold as a going concern, it would be worth more.

Perry owns 40 acres of woodland on two sites in Clooncoose and Turnagh near Ballymote, which is worth €160,000 at the maximum rate of €4,000 per acre, but the price depends on the type and maturity of the trees.

The funeral home in Ballymote, which was opened by Perry's father, is worth a top price of €200,000.

Perry would yield €96,000 from 16 acres of agricultural land he owns, at the top going rate of €6,000 per acre.

An apartment in the Cornmill development in the town is worth a mere €40,000.

A 10-acre property and derelict house, which he is believed to have purchased for an estimated €300,000, is worth just €100,000 on today's market.

His constituency office in Ballymote is worth a maximum of €40,000 while a second office in Market Street in Sligo town, allegedly bought for around €200,000 in 2010, is worth a maximum of €60,000 today.

Finally, a house in the Elms in Ballymote on a two-and-a-half-acre site is worth a maximum of €240,000 today.

Trouble loomed when a hotel on which he had a leasehold became the subject of court proceedings last year when he made an out-of-court settlement over the alleged failure to pay a €1.3m debt relating to the lease of the hotel.

The feeling among those who know him in the constituency yesterday was that he had stretched himself too far – but questions were also being asked as to how the junior minister managed to secure a bank loan for €2.5m given his financial situation.

Sunday Independent

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