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James Reilly tells Dail: I have acted with complete propriety at all times

The Health Minister told the chamber that the current difficulties stem from ‘complex’ litigation.

Reilly giving his statement this evening
Reilly giving his statement this evening
Image: Oireachtas website

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has told the Dail that he acted with complete propriety at all times in business dealings which saw his name entered in Stubbs Gazette over a debt of €1.9 million.

Dr Reilly told the Dáil that the current difficulties stem from ‘complex’ litigation which he believes will be resolved, and that he and other investors in a nursing home intend to meet their financial obligations.

The Minister also rejected suggestions that there was any conflict of interest in his investment in a nursing home at the same time as holding the position in  Cabinet.

In a personal statement lasting just under ten minutes, James Reilly said that that problems stemmed from an investment he had entered into 12 years ago involving the Green Hills nursing home in Tipperary.

A dispute arose between the 13 investors in the nursing home which saw the case being brought before the High Court.

He said that he very much regretted that it had not been possible to reach an agreement before he was named in Stubbs Gazette.

The Minister said he had twice tried to dispose of his involvement in the nursing home but had not been bought out by the other investors.  He said that he had granted power of attorney to his solicitor in March 2011, following his appointment to government, for the purposes of “doing all acts necessary to dispose of my interest” in the investment.

He told the Dáil he had sought the advice of the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) over how he could set aside his interest in the nursing home while he remained as Minister after his lawyer had failed to dispose of his interest in the nursing home, despite several attempts to do so.

The Minister strongly rejected criticism from opposition TDs that he had a conflict of interest through his investment in the nursing home.

“I’d like to state very clearly on the record of the House that nothing could be furthest from the truth,” he said.

He cited the fact that he had never been the operator of the nursing home, which is run independently; that he had attempted to divest his interest in the property for the past 16 months; and that his interest is the “well-being of older people” as reasons why there was no conflict of interest.

VIDEO: Health Minister James Reilly’s statement to the Dáil >

Pictures: James Reilly’s name on the Stubbs Gazette defaulters’ list >

Health Minister’s business affairs ‘entirely in order’ insists Taoiseach >

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