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Fine Gael calls for AIB to appear before committee over writedown of DJ Carey debt

It has been reprted that the former hurler and businessman had a debt of over €9.5 million written down to €60,000.

MINISTER FOR STATE for Employment Affairs Neale Richmond has called on AIB to appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to address why a debt owed by DJ Carey of €9.5m was reportedly written down to €60,000 in 2017.

Richmond said that the details of the bank’s settlement with the businessman, as reported by RTÉ, were “extremely worrying”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Saturday with Colm Ó Mongáin, the Department of Enterprise minister clarified that although the state owned 99.9% shares in AIB at the time of the settlement, the state was not involved in the matter.

“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.

“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.”

Richmond added that he wasn’t aware of any other write downs of that size at a State-owned bank

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore and People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett appeared on the show, with Whitmore calling the situation “head scratching”.

“There needs to be transparency as to why this deal was done. I think it will be really upsetting for so many families that were chased during that period by banks.”

“We seem to have one rule for some ordinary families, and then a different rule for others,” she said.

Boyd Barrett said that it was “extraordinary” how much scope for negotitiation had been granted in Carey’s case.

“You just think of the hardship that so many people went through: homes being repossessed, people being chased for every cent when they were being crucified with unemployment and austerity,” he stated.

“It seriously begs the question, is there one law for the rich and well-gotten as against what everybody else had to experience during that period? And for it to be in a bank that had been bailed out by the people and that was owned by the people.”

“We need to find out did other people benefit from that latitude because I think huge numbers of ordinary people out there know they didn’t get that kind of latitude from from the banks, quite the opposite,” he concluded.