Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Paisley Jnr’s father-in-law steps down as director of firm that owns constituency office

The father-in-law of Ian Paisley Jnr has stepped down as director of the firm that owns the MLA’s constituency office.

In a move signalled some months ago, the post has been filled by a local DUP councillor.

The advice centre premises at 9-11 Church Street, Ballymena are jointly operated by ex-First Minister Ian Paisley and his politician son Ian Paisley Jnr. The landlord is a company called Sarcon no 250.

Mr Paisley Jnr’s father-in-law, retired Lisburn company director James Currie, became sole director of the firm last October.

Returns to Companies Registry, the official Government-run register, state that Mr Currie stood down from the role last month, and was replaced as director by Ballymena DUP councillor Sam Hanna.

Mr Hanna confirmed the appointment when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph. He had no comment to make when asked if he now personally owned the building.

It was revealed earlier this year that 9-11 Church Street is the most expensive Stormont-funded advice centre in the province.

Assembly information released in February showed that £57,000 a year was being claimed by the two Paisleys in taxpayer-financed rental allowance.

Mr Currie took over at the helm of Sarcon 250 from property developer Seymour Sweeney, who had been in the position for some five months.

During this period, Mr Sweeney, a DUP member, secured the mortgage for the firm’s purchase of the office.

Mr Paisley Jnr has stressed that the businessman received no benefit from his involvement with the constituency office.

He also said in February: “There is no profit for Sarcon from the rental payments. It goes directly to the bank to furnish the mortgage.”

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