New junior minister was forced to pay €35,000 in tax bills to Revenue
THE new Junior Minister for European Affairs Dara Murphy was forced to pay two tax bills totalling €35,000 by the Revenue Commissioners, the Irish Independent can reveal.
Mr Murphy paid off the debts after his catering businesses collapsed but still owes thousands of euro in bank loans.
He had at least five High Court judgments secured against him since 2010.
In an online business profile, Mr Murphy claims he "established and managed several very successful businesses".
However, he was forced to close his catering business in 2009 and around 20 people lost their jobs.
Sources close to Mr Murphy said he "went broke in a big way" during the recession but is trying to settle his debts.
The extent of his business debts led to Permanent TSB registering a judgment against his family home in Douglas, Co Cork, according to land registry documents.
The Cork North-Central TD remortgaged his family home twice with EBS Building Society during the property boom.
He has an agreement in place with the lender and is up to date with his payments, the Irish Independent understands.
Mr Murphy will be able to better address his financial problems after his salary was increased by €34,380 when Taoiseach Enda Kenny promoted him this week.
Mr Murphy will now earn more than €120,000 a year and will be entitled to an allowance for a car and pay for a driver. He will also receive assistance for his constituency office and secretarial staff.
The politician ran a successful catering company and restaurant business but ran into difficulties when the financial crisis hit the country.
"He's doing his best to pay off everything," a source said.
Revenue registered a €28,362 judgment against him in October 2010 and two months later a further €6,751 was registered.
Both debts have been paid off by the politician and he was given a full tax clearance certificate before he took up his seat in Leinster House.
He had at least five High Court judgments secured against him since 2010 and the Irish Independent understands several 'unpublished judgments' were also secured against the recently appointed minister.
In January, Mr Murphy set up a company to sell off old catering stock from his previous businesses. Teamserve Cleaning and Facility Services Limited was established in January, according to company records.
In 2006, Mr Murphy registered Party Rental as a business to supply catering equipment for parties.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he set up another catering equipment company, Variety Supplies, in 1992. Northern Ireland-based paper company Newcel Paper Convertors Limited registered a €6,625 judgment against Mr Murphy and Variety Supplies in 2012.
Mr Murphy also ran The Olive Tree restaurant in the Douglas Shopping Centre in Cork. Two 'unregistered judgments' were secured against Mr Murphy by companies that supplied the restaurant with goods and services.
Clona Dairy Products Society Limited registered a €2,188 judgment and Ryan's Arbutus Breads Limited €2,455.
In 2001, Mr Murphy and his wife Tanya bought their family home with a mortgage from EBS Building Society.
According to Land Registry documents, the house was remortgaged for €120,000 in August 2004. And it was again remortgaged with EBS the following December for €170,000.
Mr Murphy said he has made "every effort" within his means to pay business debts.
He said all of his former employees were paid in full when his business closed.
"Many of my creditors have already been paid in full," he added. "For others, mutually acceptable agreements are in place for discharge by stage payments. I have every intention of discharging any sums lawfully due to the remainder of my creditors."