‘worrying’ | 

Minister calls for AIB answers over write-down on €9.5m DJ Carey debt

Last night RTÉ reported that the Kilkenny hurling legend had secured a settlement with AIB Bank in 2017 through which a debt of over €9.5m was written down to €60,000.

DJ Carey

Niamh HoranIndependent.ie

A Government minister has said AIB should appear before the Finance Committee to answer questions on the DJ Carey debt write-down, which he described as “worrying”.

Neal Richmond, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment appeared on RTÉ radio today where he was asked about the scale of the write-down by AIB, which is still majority State-owned.

Last night RTÉ reported that Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey secured a settlement with AIB Bank in 2017 through which a debt of over €9.5m was written down to €60,000.

According to documents seen by RTÉ's Prime Time, Mr Carey had to pay just 0.63pc of the original amount owed to the majority State-owned bank.

RTE reported how the 99.37% reduction of Mr Carey’s debt of €9,528,411 was referred to in a settlement document as a "compromise".

The bank had previously secured a High Court judgment for the €9.5m mostly arising from a €7.85m loan secured on properties at Mount Juliet in Kilkenny and the K Club in Kildare.

Mr Carey has yet to comment on the story - but Mr Richmond said he was not aware of any other write downs of that size at a State-owned bank.

“Whilst yet the State have an effective ownership they didn’t have policy direction over the bank,” he told RTE's 'Saturday with Colm Ó Mongáin' show.

But he added: “Anyone reading that story overnight, it is extremely worrying, and personally I’d like to see AIB come before the Finance Committee to lay out exactly the nature of this and indeed address the question ‘were there other write downs?’ and to explain and to have a debate.”

Richard Boyd-Barrett, People Before Profit, meanwhile said: “On the face of it, it is absolutely extraordinary.

“I mean 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 and then it seriously begs the question: Is there one law for the rich and well-gotten as against what everyone else had to endure during that period?

“And for it to be in a bank that had been bailed out by the people, that was owned by the people, we need to get to the bottom of it.

"We need to find out did other people benefit from that largesse because I think huge numbers of ordinary people out there know we didn’t get that kind of latitude from the banks - quite the opposite.”

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore said: “I think it’s extraordinary, and I think a lot of people would really be scratching their heads and wondering why this settlement was made.

“I agree with Neale that AIB have questions to answer on this and 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 see Bank of Ireland the tracker mortgage scandal and other banks as well so we seem to have one rule for ordinary families and a different rule for others, and we need to look why this is the case, and why this has happened.”

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