Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness to face PAC over the Nama Project Eagle controversy

The former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson and current deputy first minister Martin McGuinness are set to be questioned over the Nama Project Eagle controversy.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the two would be invited to attend as part of a wider investigation into allegations surrounding the multi-billion euro state property deal.

Speaking after a private meeting at which it was confirmed Finance Minister Michael Noonan will appear on October 6, PAC chair and Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming said other high- profile figures will also face questioning.

He said they will include Mr Robinson, who at the time of the deal was the leader of the Democrat Unionist Party and Northern Ireland first minister, and Mr McGuinness of Sinn Féin, who remains deputy first minister.

While it is not yet decided when Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness will attend, it is likely the public grilling will take place on either the Tuesday or Thursday after Mr Noonan’s meeting.

Next Thursday, the PAC will meet Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy — a report from whom last week alleged the State lost at least €220m due to the deal and raised serious questions about then Nama official Frank Cushnahan.

In addition, Nama’s chair Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh — who dispute Mr McCarthy’s findings — will also attend on the same day, while current and former general secretaries of the Department of Finance are likely to face further meetings.

Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness have been asked to attend because of their involvement in a key January 2015 phone call with Mr Noonan, minutes of which included a letter of intent provided by US investment firm Pimco about the deal. It subsequently emerged that then Nama adviser Frank Cushnahan stood to earn over €5m if Pimco won the Project Eagle deal, a claim he denies.

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