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Rabbitte: Let's not start dancing on John Perry's grave just yet

It’s not yet clear whether Minister of State for Small Business John Perry will have to step down after he had a judgment of €2.47 million entered against him in court.

John Perry (left) with Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton
John Perry (left) with Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER PAT Rabbitte has said he hopes the Minister of State for Small Business John Perry can find a way to resolve his financial difficulties.

Rabbitte would not comment on whether or not Perry will have to step down as a TD but said he was not putting any pressure on the junior minister and compared his situation to that of many small business owners.

“I think you’d have a lot of small business people not being entitled to earn a living in the country if the  mere fact that their business ran into difficult disqualified them,” Rabbitte told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland. “It’s not for me to speculate or start dancing on John Perry’s grave,” he said.

John Perry and his wife Marie have six weeks to pay almost €2.5 million in debts after a judgment was entered against them in the Commercial Court yesterday. The ruling followed a case filed by Danske Bank which sued the couple over loans connected to properties bought several years ago in Perry’s constituency of Sligo-North Leitrim.

It is not yet clear whether Perry and his wife will be able to pay the debt or whether he will have to be declared bankrupt. If that happens, under Section 42 of the Electoral Act of 1992, any TD or Senator who has been declared a bankrupt  shall lose their seat after six months if the bankruptcy is not discharged.

The relevant part of the Act states:

Where a member of the Dáil has been adjudicated bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction in the State and within six months of the date of the order of adjudication the said order is not annulled or the person the subject of the order has not obtained a certificate of discharge under section 85 (7) of the Bankruptcy Act, 1988, the Examiner of the High Court shall, as soon as possible after the expiration of the period of six months from the date of the order, notify the Chairman of the Dáil and on receipt of such notification by the Chairman of the Dáil a vacancy shall exist in the membership of the Dáil.

Pat Rabbitte said he wished Perry and his wife well. “It must be an incredible burden on top of trying to do his daily job,” he said.

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

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