Finance Minister Michael Noonan has been urged to publish an independent report into state property body Nama as soon as he is given it next week, amid fears it could be shelved until the autumn.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it will demand the move in a formal letter to Mr Noonan over the coming days as part of ongoing attempts to address unanswered questions involving the organisation.
Speaking during a lengthy meeting yesterday as the controversy surrounding Nama’s multi-billion euro Project Eagle Northern Ireland property portfolio deal continued to dominate the Dáil, the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy said he expects to conclude a report into the issue by the middle of next week.
Mr McCarthy — who regularly sits in on PAC meetings due to the state financial issues involved — said he is not at liberty to publish the report and that once it is presented to Mr Noonan, it is up to the finance minister to decide when it will be released.
The Comptroller and Auditor General added that under existing laws, Mr Noonan “has three months to present the report to the Dáil” and in previous cases “it has gone to the 90th day, I’ve seen it happen”.
Responding to the confirmation yesterday, PAC chair and Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming said the “quite considerable amount of time” means the committee must write to Mr Noonan to demand the report be published immediately after it is received.
Speculation continued to circulate over a potential separate State investigation into Nama.
Reports on Wednesday strongly suggested that Taoiseach Enda Kenny had asked to meet Independents4 Change TD Mick Wallace over his call for a commission of inquiry to be set up into the multi-billion euro Project Eagle deal and related allegations.
Speaking at an event on Wednesday evening, Mr Kenny flatly rejected the claims, saying they are “utterly speculative” and that “there is no investigation taking place”.
However, Mr Wallace told the Irish Examiner hours later he is in discussions with “groups” — believed to be Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin counterpart Gerry Adams, and solicitor Aidan Eames — about setting up such an investigation.
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