Nama inquiry plans given to Enda Kenny

Unauthorised leaking, a wider probe into the actions of Nama, and a suspension of its asset sales are some of the recommendations made for an inquiry into the agency.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to receive proposals from parties today for an inquiry, after the Cabinet last week agreed to hold one on Nama’s Project Eagle sale.

Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness yesterday said he would appear before the public accounts committee, which is following up on a critical audit on the northern property loanbook deal.

The audit, conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General, said taxpayers may have suffered a loss from the €1.3bn sale, that the deal was restricted, and that there may have been a conflict of interest with ‘fixer’ fees.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace last night told the Irish Examiner he wants any “unauthorised leaking” of information about Nama deals probed.

Nama denies there were any problems around the sale of Project Eagle and said it represented “value money”.

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Mr Wallace said: “The problems identified in the C&AG report are not confined to Project Eagle. Unauthorised leaking of information needs to be examined.”

The “strongest powers” were needed to compel witnesses to give evidence and for documents to be recovered, he said, adding that the inquiry need to be broad but with a time limit, to be done in modules, and to be judge led.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also recommended that a judge lead the probe. His submission asks what political pressure was applied to accelerate Project Eagle.

Mr Kenny will consider the proposals and, according to Government sources, could have a plan for an inquiry in place by the end of next week.

Mr McGuinness said he has “no problem” in attending a PAC meeting over Project Eagle.

On Wednesday, the committee agreed to ask Mr McGuinness and former first minister Peter Robinson to undergo public questioning about their knowledge on Project Eagle.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co Offaly, Mr McGuinness said he is happy to attend. “I’ve no problem at all [with attending], I’ve already written to the PAC last year. It’s not a difficulty for me at all to do that. I would like to see anybody invited to attend,” he said.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin, meanwhile, has proposed a “hybrid North-South inquiry” over Project Eagle.

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