Health Minister James Reilly expected to explain business deal in Dáil

Wednesday 11 July 2012 08.21
Dr James Reilly was one of five investors who had a €1.9m judgment registered against them
Dr James Reilly was one of five investors who had a €1.9m judgment registered against them

Minister for Health James Reilly is expected to explain to the Dáil tomorrow why his name appeared in Stubbs Gazette over an unpaid debt.

Dr Reilly was one of five investors who had a €1.9m judgment registered against them after agreeing but then failing to buy out a Tipperary nursing home.

Earlier, the Taoiseach strongly defended Minister Reilly and said his business affairs were entirely in order.

Enda Kenny said he spoke to Dr Reilly this morning, who had briefed him on the judgment registered against the minister and his consortium.

The judgment was made over their failure to complete a deal involving a private nursing home in Tipperary.

The Taoiseach told Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams the judgment had been perfectly legitimate and properly registered but did not mean that the money outstanding would not be repaid.

He added that Minister Reilly was a minority investor in the consortium with no control over the direction of the process of resolving the debt as he had given over power of attorney in the matter.

He said that there were some differences with the groups involved, but Minister Reilly had assured him that the money would be repaid.

Dr Reilly is currently abroad on Government business but is due back to speak in a health debate tomorrow.

Stubbs Gazette Managing Director James Treacy said having a judgment registered against an individual would have an adverse impact on their personal credit rating.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the key question Minister Reilly has to answer is whether or not he intends to repay the money involved.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six-One News, Mr McGrath said that from someone who is Minister for Health, and deputy leader of Fine Gael, people expect high standards in the conduct of his business affairs.

He pointed out that businesses all over the country were folding because they were having difficulties in collecting debts.

Mr McGrath said it was "a very embarrassing affair" for the Government that the dispute had come to this.

In a statement, Dr Reilly said on assuming office he had handed power of attorney to his solicitor to deal with the matter and that power had been passed on to a third party.