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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 2 September, 2014

John Perry has “full confidence” of Taoiseach but SF and FF call for explanation

The junior minister for small business has made a confidential settlement over a €2.47 million debt with Danske Bank and is not going to comment any further “at the moment”, his spokesperson says.

John Perry
John Perry
Image: Eleanor Keegan/Photocall Ireland

THE TWO MAIN opposition parties have said that more detail is needed about the settlement that Minister for Small Business John Perry has reached with Danske Bank over a €2.47 million debt.

In a brief statement yesterday evening Perry said that he had reached an agreement with the bank over the debt for which a court judgement was registered against him and his wife last July but had been stayed to allow for the matter to be resolved.

A spokesperson for Perry said today that the Fine Gael TD will not “at the moment” be commenting any further on the confidential settlement he and his wife made with the bank.

While a government spokesman said this evening: “Minister Perry has arrived at an agreement with Danske Bank the details of which are confidential. The Minister has the full confidence of the Taoiseach.”

But Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said today that Perry needs to explain the rationale behind the approach he took to resolving the matter.

“John Perry has not made a statement to explain the rationale. The Taoiseach should demand an explanation from him and if that explanation does not satisfy the Dáil then he should be dismissed or John Perry himself should resign,” he said in an interview with TheJournal.ie

Doherty said that Perry had brought his position as Minister of State for Small Business “into disrepute” and claimed he had “abused” his position.

Statement sent to Taoiseach

Fianna Fail’s jobs spokesperson Dara Calleary said that a number of questions remained over Perry and said the Sligo-North Leitrim deputy needs to make a full statement now or when the Dáil reconvenes later this month.

Calleary said a number of issues needed to be clarified including “how the Minister managed the conflicts of interest that arose at a time when he was seeking further funding from the banks while at the same time being responsible for holding the same banks to account for lending to small businesses”.

“The second question is what interaction he has had with the Revenue Commissioners on this issue. Another obvious issue is the broad terms of his most recent settlement.”

Calleary said he did not think it is “feasible” for Perry to “remain silent on a secret deal” with Danske “when small businesses across the country are struggling to maintain even their current overdraft facilities”.

Perry’s spokesperson said that a copy of the Minister of State’s statement was sent to the Taoiseach’s office but was unable to say whether Perry had spoken directly to Enda Kenny.

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Read: Junior minister John Perry reaches deal with bank over €2.4 million debt

Richard Bruton: John Perry’s conduct is exemplary >

Read: Government declines to comment on €2.47 million judgment against Minister

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