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DJ Carey Tom Beary/INPHO
debt settled

TDs set to haul AIB before Finance Committee after DJ Carey debt revelations

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the bank could explain their approach for carrying out writedowns at the committee.

AIB WILL BE asked to appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to address why debt of €9.5 million owed by DJ Carey was reportedly written down to €60,000 in 2017.

Aontú leader and committee member Peadar Tóibín confirmed that the committee had met earlier today and agreed to invite representatives from AIB in at the earliest possible date to discuss the businessman’s alleged debt writedown.

Tóibín said that he hoped to see representatives brought before the Finance Committee in March, but that no date had yet been confirmed.

RTÉ’s Prime Time reported that Carey had received a 99.37% reduction of his debt and that he settled the debt with the State-owned bank in 2017.

Junior enterprise minister Neale Richmond said that the details of the settlement were “extremely worrying”.

“Whilst the state had effective ownership over AIB at that point, they didn’t have policy direction over the bank. And nor they do they at the moment,” he said at the weekend

“But I think like anyone reading that story overnight, it is extremely worrying. I’d like to see AIB come before the Finance Committee to lay out exactly the nature of this. And indeed were there other write downs like this and to explain and have the debate.”

When asked about it in the Dáil today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he was reluctant to talk about an individual’s finances, but believed that the issue would be explored at the committee.

“I think if the committee is having the banks in they could certainly explore the wider policy approach that banks follow in writing down debts,” Varadkar said.

“I imagine it’s linked to how much the person is able to pay back rather than who they are but that needs to be looked at.”

Tóibín said that he was concerned by AIB’s writedown of Carey’s debt and questioned how many similar deals had taken place in recent years.

“It’s very hard to understand why certain people can get almost 100% writedowns,” Tóibín told The Journal this afternoon.

“I want to know how many of these writedowns have taken place in the last ten years.”

Co-leader of the Social Democrats Catherine Murphy told reporters earlier today that AIB need to detail its methodology for writedowns on debt.

“We’re certainly having contact from people who feel very aggrieved that they were put through the ringer for a relatively small amount of money,” Murphy said, compared to writedowns on larger sums of money.