Robinson rejects €1.5bn Nama payment claims

The North’s first minister Peter Robinson has said that neither he nor his family were in line to benefit from a €1.5bn Nama deal which is now under police investigation.

The DUP leader also said his son, Gareth, had been subjected to a “witch-hunt” over the affair.

The furore broke when Independent TD Mick Wallace told the Dáil that an off-shore account in the Isle of Man containing €9.8m was “reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician, or political party”.

The British National Crime Agency is leading an investigation into the purchase of Nama’s northern property portfolio by a US investment firm last year.

Asked if he, his family, or DUP members expected to benefit from the Nama deal, Mr Robinson said: “I am somewhat offended by the question. I have lived my public life on the basis of doing things for the public, and in the public interest.

“Not one penny was coming to anybody in my family or the party as a result of this deal.

“All of the ministers who were involved, whether they were in my party or not, the only thing that they were ever going to get out of this was to see on the skyline that the building cranes were moving again and people were being employed in the construction industry. That’s what we got out of it,” he said.

Mr Robinson also said unsubstantiated allegations on social media claiming he and his son Gareth were set to profit from the deal as the work of “trolls and village idiots”.

Nama and other firms involved in the deal say that they were not involved in wrongdoing.

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