Monday 23 October 2017

Perry facing calls to give details of €2.47m debt deal

John Perry: job now secure
John Perry: job now secure

Michael Brennan and Breda Heffernan

JUNIOR Minister John Perry is facing demands to make a full statement about the nature of his €2.47m debt deal with Danske Bank.

Opposition parties have insisted that Mr Perry has to give more details of the deal he has agreed with Danske Bank rather than simply saying it is confidential.

Fine Gael is hoping to draw a line under the matter, with Mr Perry getting backing from Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

His ministerial position is secure following the deal, with a spokesman for Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying he has full confidence in him.

And Labour has also signalled that it is not going to raise any objection to Mr Perry continuing as a junior minister.

But Fianna Fail jobs spokesman Dara Calleary said that his party wanted Mr Perry to make a full statement on the matter. "I do not believe it is feasible for the Minister for Small Business to remain silent on a secret deal with Danske Bank at a time when small businesses across the country are struggling to maintain even their current overdraft facilities," he said.

Mr Perry and his wife Marie had taken out the loans from Dankse Bank in October 2011. He has already faced calls to resign from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, after it emerged that he personally contacted AIB chief executive David Duffy about his €2.47m debt.

QUESTIONS

SF finance spokesman Pearse Doherty questioned Mr Duffy about this at the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday.

Mr Duffy said he always ensured that any decisions about lending to customers were made by the bank's credit committee and not by him.

However, Mr Doherty said Mr Perry had been dodging questions about his dealings with banks in relation to his €2.47m debt.

"The Dail will be resuming and there will be a raft of questions we will be putting to the Taoiseach and other ministers in relation to this matter," he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Perry said he was not going to make any further comment.

Mr Deenihan said he hoped the settlement reached between Mr Perry and Danske Bank would draw a line under the matter – and he was delighted his Fine Gael colleague would be able to continue to sit as a TD.

"John Perry has been over the years a great employer in his home town and no one likes to see anyone getting into any trouble with banks or people who are in business.

"So hopefully now it's a new beginning for John and obviously the arrangement with the bank is a private one.

"I'm delighted for John that he obviously can continue his career in politics and also that his affairs with the bank are now settled."

Irish Independent

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