Junior minister John Perry’s position has become increasingly tenuous after it emerged he had tax arrears of €100,000 with the Revenue Commissioners.
The documents also show Mr Perry accusing the bank of “a form of bullying” and alluded to the personal consequences of actions by the bank “with his job”.
Mr Kenny said he has spoken with Mr Perry about his financial difficulties this week.
And the Taoiseach has also discussed the matter with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore as concern within the Coalition over Mr Perry’s position mounts.
However, it is not clear if the Taoiseach or Tanaiste were aware of Mr Perry’s tax arrears – as neither Government leader is commenting.
But Mr Perry told Danske Bank in January 2012 that Bank of Ireland had agreed to give him a 10-year loan to help him address tax arrears of about €100,000, according to Commercial Court documents.
But it is not clear if the minister has since cleared the arrears with Revenue.
Last night, opposition parties called on Mr Perry (pictured) to make a statement on his finances as the reference to tax arrears piled the pressure on the minister.
Mr Perry has six weeks to repay €2.5m after he and and his wife Marie consented to a judgment for that amount against them at the Commercial Court over unpaid loans on Monday.
Mr Kenny said Mr Perry’s case was “indicative” of a number of business people across the country who have got into financial difficulty. I don’t really want to say anymore about John Perry’s particular problem.
“I spoke to him on Sunday and obviously they are working on that for the future,” he said.
Speaking on Mid-West Radio in Mayo, Mr Kenny said Mr Perry was committed to continuing his work as Small Business Minister.
“Obviously he has worked exceptionally hard in terms of his ministry. He’s got a court judgment to deal with here now in respect of the next five or six weeks,” he said.
Mr Gilmore’s spokesman said the Tanaiste reiterated that Mr Perry and his wife should be given the “time and space” to deal with the issues.
He also confirmed the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste had a “brief conversation” on the matter.
Mr Kenny’s spokesman also would not comment on the tax arrears question.
“The Taoiseach is not going to comment on the details of the case as the court proceedings progress,” the spokesman said.
But Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said it would not be acceptable for Mr Perry, as Minister of State for Small Business, to preside over businesses that were not meeting their taxation obligations to the State.
“In my view, on that issue alone, his position is very much called into question,” he said.
Mr Perry also told Danske Bank that AIB had agreed to give him an 11-year loan to pay €125,000 to other creditors and his other lenders had agreed to continue facilities on an interest only basis, minutes of meetings state.
The minutes relate to some of a number of meetings held between Danske and Mr Perry about delays in making repayments on a loan of €2.4m made to him and his wife in October 2011.
It also emerged that when the bank indicated last january that it would seek judgment or appoint a receiver if satisfactory proposals were not provided, Mr Perry expressed shock at the bank’s “aggressive approach”.
Last April, Minister of State for Small Business John Perry wrote to the chief executives of Bank of Ireland and AIB asking them to meet a Government advisory group and set out their positions on funding small and medium-sized enterprises, and how they dealt with SMEs with distressed loans.
“It is imperative that we listen to the voice of small business,” said Perry. Indeed when Taoiseach Enda Kenny appointed him to the ministerial ranks it was because of Perry’s “understanding of small business”.
The extent of Perry’s understanding of distressed loans in the SME sector became clearer yesterday when the Sligo politician and his wife, Marie, consented in the Commercial Court to a judgment of €2.47 million against them in favour of Danske Bank
The debt related to a €2.42 million loan advanced to the couple in October 2011, which itself was a restructuring of existing loans. To use the phrase made infamous by the Anglo Irish recordings, Perry as the relevant Minister had skin in the game.
The court proceedings disclosed that security and collateral on the loan included the Stone Park Restaurant, Perry’s Hardware shop in the politician’s home town ofBallymote, Co Sligo, as well as 50 acres of agricultural land.
The Fine Gael politician did not make himself available for comment yesterday and a spokeswoman said: “The matter remains before the court and he will not be making any comment until [proceedings are concluded].”
Registration of the judgment is scheduled for September 2nd. The Perrys had sought a three-month stay on the registration to allow them seek a resolution but counsel for Danske Bank objected on the grounds that they had had ample time to do so.
The judgment will create major political problems for Perry and might even cast a strong doubt on his future status as a TD. Officially the Government will make no comment about the case but privately officials have said it is a private matter for the Minister of State that does not impinge on his public duties in Government.
He will be the second Minister in the past year to have his financial affairs exposed to scrutiny, following the inclusion of Minister for Health James Reilly’s name in Stubbs’ Gazette. Politically, however, the judgment will have more ramifications for Perry.
He is, after all, the Minister for Small Business. And in his position, can he credibly call – as he did last April – for the chief executives of the country’s biggest banks to explain their position on distressed loans to an advisory group of which he is a member when he himself is in that category? The Dáil is in recess but will be returning within a fortnight of the judgment being registered.
Tuesday February 05 2013 Irish Independent
Sean Quinn Jnr
THE jailed son of businessman Sean Quinn does not know where the rents generated by assets in the family’s international property group (IPG) have gone.
Mr Quinn Jnr has told the Commercial Court that he is “110pc” sure that he does not know where the lucrative rents have gone.
“Let me be struck dead when I leave this court if I am wrong,” Mr Quinn Jnr told High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly this afternoon during cross examination by lawyers for the former Anglo Irish Bank.
Sunday Feb. 3rd Independent
Aoife Quinn has a science degree and later studied law at Blackhall Place. She worked in Quinn Insurance, as a claims handler in the ‘fast-track’ section. So shouldn’t she be familiar with the legal process that requires litigants to disclose documents to each other, Paul Gallagher wanted to know. But Aoife said she didn’t have to deal with lawyers.
She drew a €379,000 salary from Russian companies over 12 months until last year, but had no bank statements. Her contract for such a big sum was in Russian, and she signed it without having it translated or even keeping a copy.
Colette Quinn like her sisters, she said she had no statements, just a text message each time the money landed in her account. And she was “not in the habit of keeping receipts” for what she spent it on.
At one point, Mr Justice Kelly reflected back on her evidence. So she had signed a contract that she didn’t understand, received a salary of €339,000 and has no documentation as to what her task were, he said.
“So whatever work it was, it was paperless,” he asked Colette. “That’s correct,” Colette shot back with a smile.
She, too, had already disclosed all documents in her possession. Mr Justice Kelly had heard this phrase so often that at one point, he called it a “mantra” of “no documents, no documents”.
The cross-examination continues this week, when Sean Jnr and Karen Woods will take the stand.
Jan. 30th Laois Nationalist
A son in law of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has told the Commercial Court he doesn’t have an active policy of keeping documents.
Under cross examination by lawyers for IBRC, Stephen Kelly said he had nothing to show how he spent his €260,000 salary from Russian companies in the Quinn’s property group.
IBRC’s lawyers say it is extraordinary and unbelievable that Stephen Kelly has kept a lot of commercial documents but has nothing relating to his salary.
Tuesday 29 Jan- Independent
A DAUGHTER of bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn withdrew more than €30,000 every month from a cash machine over nearly a year to pay for legal fees, she told a court.
Ciara Quinn said she had no records or receipts of the fees being paid, as she generally handed the cash to her brother Sean Junior or sister Aoife, who then paid the lawyers
Ms Quinn told the Commercial Court she spent €339,921 – paid to her from the Quinn family’s property empire – between July 2011 and May 2012.
She said she usually withdrew the money, over the 11-month period, from a Bank of Ireland ATM in Blanchardstown, Dublin, using a Visa card.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 – 06:14 PM – Irish Examiner
A daughter of ex-billionaire Sean Quinn opened several bank accounts in Dubai after legal action was launched to stop the family asset-stripping their global property empire.
But Aoife Quinn said no money was ever lodged in the four accounts, which were opened in four different currencies – euro, US dollars, Sterling and a local currency – a year ago.
Ms Quinn told the Commercial Court she had no documents or records from the accounts as she handed them over to the family’s former legal team.
In the first day of disclosure hearings – originally expected to last two days but which have already been extended – Ms Quinn also claimed:
:: She was not sure of the amount of her six-figure salary from three Russian companies;
:: She never got email or written bank statements from her Moscow account, but only text messages confirming transactions;
:: Her mobile phone that contained those records was stolen;
:: She had no records on the 30% income tax she was paying to Russian authorities;
:: She feared people were rummaging through the Quinn family’s bins so stored away other records she thought were not important, because she did not have a shredder.
Sean Quinn – Innocent!!!
Sean Quinn said that he did not feel he should have been in prison in the first place.
He said the view was shared by his fellow prisoners: “I think 100 per cent of them felt I shouldn’t be there.
Never in my life did I steal a penny or take a penny that didn’t belong to me,” he added….he’s right of course he owes half a billion to the state now – but that’s different!
Quinn told his local radio station, Northern Sound, “If the assets under dispute are found to belong to the Irish public and that they were taken legally by Anglo Irish Bank, and the receivership of the Quinn Group and administration of the Quinn Direct was done legally and correctly, then we will apologize to the Irish public. What arrogance.
All the above appears to be standard Quinn defence –ignorance of all facts or else just totally think.
Standard Quinn Defence No.1, previous seen as “ah sure I am only a house wife”
Asked about two bonuses of about €50,000 paid to her from the companies, she said she could not recall the exact amount.
“I’m not sure of the figure,” she said.
“I’m not great with maths, especially in my head and especially under pressure.”
Standard Quinn Defence No.2 – I know I did a bad thing last year but because I was scared I destroyed all evidence & can’t do anything now.
“I believe that this was a reaction to the bank trying to take everything off us,” she said.
“That was our reaction whether it was right or not.”
Ireland has a shocking record of not punishing white collar crime but surly this shower of Gombeens should serve have to serve lengthy prison sentences.
A legal action aimed at blocking access by Irish internet users to the free file-sharing website Pirate Bay and related websites has come before the Commercial Court. About 200,000 Irish users access the Pirate Bay site monthly, the court heard.
Four music companies have brought the case against five internet service providers (ISPs) aimed at requiring them block or disable access by their subscribers to the sites.
The aciton is by EMI, Sony, Warner Music and Universal against UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb and Hutchison 3G Ltd and all the defendants consented today to the case being fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.
In an affidavit, EMI chairman Willie Kavanagh, who is also chairman of the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), said the Pirate Bay website operates as “a vast directory of what is overwhelmingly copyright material” that internet users are making available for downloading, copying and onward distribution by other internet users.
That directory indicates what is available and who is making it available, he said. An expert for the plaintiffs had estimated the minimum advertising revenue of the Pirate Bay website at between US$20.5m to US$36m dollars.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it appeared the defendant companies were “innocent parties” seeking to achieve a constructive end to the litigation and he indicated the best approach may be to have experts for the sides get together to work out a way forward.
The case will involve the first court examination of issues arising from new copyright legislation introduced last February, he noted.
Jonathan Newman, for the music companies, said experts for the sides had met before but he had no difficulty with another meeting.
Counsel said that while another High Court judge, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, had previously ruled he could not make such a blocking order relating to Pirate Bay against Eircom, that company had voluntarily blocked access by subscribers to the site and the music companies also believed the legal situation had changed via a new statutory instrument of last February.
Cian Ferriter SC, for Vodafone, said his client does not condone copyright piracy and was not opposed in principle to what the plaintiffs were seeking but a lot of issues had to be “ironed out”.
Vodafone was concerned there should be an equitable application across the market of any final order made in this matter, counsel said. Vodafone was anxious not to be “singled out” and have its commercial interests affected if others were not and it was happy to have experts engage in seeing if some form of protocol could be agreed, he added.
Gerard Kelly of Matheson, solicitors, for UPC and Hutchison, said his clients favoured a meeting of the sides in an effort to narrow down the issues.
Mr Justice Kelly said he would transfer the case to the Commercial Court but would defer making further directions so as to allow the experts an opportunity to meet. If no agreement was reached, the areas of disagreement should be identified and the case would return to court late next month, he added.
The discount retailer alleged that Tesco had failed to compare like with like, had not stated the correct sale price of relevant Aldi products and had failed to compare the relevant quantities.
Aldi wittingly had used the example of a bag of mint humbugs to support their case. It rather looks like The Tesco humbug has been exposed yet once again.
It relation to Tesco just remember every little bit helps to hurt somebody else
Members of the family of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn have told the Commercial Court they are at their “wits’ end” dealing with the former Anglo Irish Bank, feel “crucified”, and want a mediation of the bitter legal dispute over the location of millions of euro of assets of the Quinn international property group.
The Quinns yesterday opposed an application by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo, for a court cross-examination of the Quinn offspring and some of their extended family to establish if they have disclosed full details of asset-stripping measures.
The Quinns contend they have but the bank claims otherwise. That matter has been adjourned to November 29th.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said yesterday that, while he is a strong supporter of mediation, it was not appropriate at this stage given the bank’s opposition due to its belief the Quinns had not complied with court orders to fully disclose assets.
If mediation became an option later, he would do all he could to assist a mediated resolution.
Barry O’Donnell, for IBRC, said there was “no proper environment” for mediation. Some of the Quinns had sworn matters that turned out to be materially untrue and there continued to be “strong non-compliance” with disclosure orders.
It was wrong to say the bank had not engaged with the family. It had, but the engagement was “unproductive”. The bank had also set out in detail the failures of the Quinns in terms of compliance, he added.
Several of the family were in court, including Seán Quinn jnr, who was freed from Mountjoy Prison last Friday on expiry of a three-month detention period imposed for contempt of court orders of June/July 2011 restraining asset stripping.
Speaking on behalf of the Quinns, Niall McPartland, a son-in-law of Mr Quinn, objected to cross-examination and said mediation was a cheaper and faster way of addressing the issues.
The family had told the bank “for the past year and a half” that “we do not have the assets and we can’t get them”, he said.
“We are at our wits’ end” and in a very difficult position, he said. They had offered to assist the bank in its effort to recover assets. It had not taken that up and the “constant bombardment” of court orders was not helping.
While the Quinns accept they have questions to answer in the general litigation, a Supreme Court judge said earlier this week the bank also had questions to answer, he said.
The impression was being given that it was “all the Quinns’ fault” but there was “more going on than meets the eye” and the bank would not have to answer questions as long as it pursued efforts to jail the Quinns. The bank had not spelt out exactly what deficiencies were being alleged against the Quinns, he said. That was not acceptable as any cross-examination could lead to “grave consequences” such as contempt proceedings and possibly incarceration.
THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency has sued three companies and two businessmen in an effort to recover more than €90 million arising from loans made by Allied Irish Banks for property developments in Dublin.
One of the businessmen, Reginald Tuthill, with an address at Cranmer Court, Whiteheads Grove, London, and a former address at Tower Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, was adjudicated bankrupt in England on August 29th last, the day before the Nama proceedings were served on him, the Commercial Court has heard.
Nama had appointed a receiver over the three companies after failing to be provided with statements of the assets and liabilities of Mr Tuthill and Derek O’Leary – with an address at Cubitt Building, Gatliff Road, London, and formerly of Oakmount, the Birches, Foxrock, Dublin – in the context of a business plan for the companies, the court also heard.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly agreed yesterday to enter summary judgment for about €90.5 million in favour of Nama against two of the three companies but adjourned the application for judgment against the third due to service issues. It was not expected there would be any opposition to judgment against it, he was told.
Judgment was entered against Sandyford Forum Developments Ltd and Blackthorn Securities plc but adjourned against Maycombe Developments Ltd, all with addresses at Oakmount, the Birches, Foxrock, and all in receivership.
On the application of Andrew Fitzpatrick, for Nama, the judge granted summary judgment for some €24.2 million against Mr O’Leary arising from loans and guarantees by him and Mr Tuthill, up to a maximum €24 million, of the liabilities of the companies, plus a facility for some €200,000. A solicitor for Mr O’Leary said he was consenting to judgment.
Because Mr Tuthill was adjudicated a bankrupt the day before the proceedings were served on him, the application for summary judgment for some €25 million against him was adjourned. That sum is made up of some €24 million allegedly due under personal guarantees of liabilities of the companies and a separate loan facility provided to Mr Tuthill to buy two apartments in Smithfield, Dublin.
The proceedings arise from several loan facilities advanced by AIB, including a €41 million facility of December 2008 to Blackthorn to part-finance its acquisition of a five-acre site at Sandyford, with repayment to be made by the end of September 2009 on terms including that repayment would be made from the sale of an office development and car parking spaces at South County Business Park in Leopardstown.
Another €18.85 million facility was advanced to Sandyford Forum Developments in December 2008 to part-finance the Leopardstown development, while a €20 million facility was provided to Maycombe, also in late 2008, to buy a two-acre site in Sandyford.