Mick Wallace claims in Dail rejected by Nama

Nama officials have reacted angrily to fresh allegations made in the Dáil by Independent TD Mick Wallace  about the controversial sale of its Northern Ireland loan book.
Mick Wallace claims in Dail rejected by Nama

Mr Wallace accused Nama of misleading him over the sale and said one of its executives was “part of a cabal to seek payment for affecting the biggest property deal in the history of this State”.

Nama responded by saying Mr Wallace’s claims were “utterly disingenuous and appear to be a deliberate misinterpretation of Nama correspondence by Deputy Wallace”.

In the Dáil, Mr Wallace, who has repeatedly raised concern about the Project Eagle sale, named three individuals in the chamber under privilege saying an independent commission of inquiry is now required.

Mr Wallace accused Nama of telling untruths to him.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said no claims of wrongdoing exist and it was her information the deal was done properly: “I am advised this loan sale was executed in a proper manner.”

Mr Wallace said he asked Nama a number of questions about Project Eagle in recent weeks. He asked if Ronnie Hanna and Frank Cushnahan or David Waters ever met any US investment fund personnel. While Nama had replied Mr Hanna had no such meetings, it was now known that Mr Hanna did meet at least one of the US investment funds.

He claimed that the three individuals he had referred to had “information above and beyond what was available in the data room”.

He added: “Frank Cushnahan was looking after the political side in the North and Ronnie Hanna was looking after matters inside Nama in Dublin. We are not talking about Belfast, this is Dublin. This is at the heart of Nama in Dublin, and this is on the Tánaiste’s watch.”

US company Cerberus Capital Management’s purchase of Project Eagle loans last year for €1.2bn is at the centre of controversy over claims that Northern Irish politicians and businessmen were to benefit from the deal.

In response, Nama said Mr Wallace has been unable to substantiate any of the false claims of wrongdoing by Nama that he has made over the past number of months. It said these new claims are no different: “It is not clear why Deputy Wallace continues to make false claims that he cannot substantiate. Deputy Wallace has today falsely accused Nama of giving untrue answers to his questions. He is wrong to do so.”

In a letter dated October 28 Mr Wallace asked Nama if Mr Hanna, with Frank Cushnahan or David Watters, ever met any US investment fund personnel.

Nama’s response to Mr Wallace was: “No. Mr Hanna had no such meetings with these individuals. At no stage did Nama ever claim to Deputy Wallace that Ronnie Hanna never met with US investment funds. Meeting these funds was part of his job as head of asset recovery. He never met them with the two people named in Deputy Wallace’s question.

“It is dismaying that scurrilous, unsubstantiated allegations made against a person in respect of his work as an employee of a State agency are made under Dáil privilege.”

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