Fianna Fáil accused of performing U-turn on Nama sale probe

Fianna Fáil has been accused of a U-turn on demanding a commission of investigation into the sale of Nama’s northern portfolio.

Fianna Fáil accused of performing U-turn on Nama sale probe

Independent Opposition TDs yesterday called for a commission of investigation into the sale of Nama’s controversial Northern Ireland portfolio Project Eagle, in the Dáil.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace brought forward a private members’ motion to set up a commission saying Ireland was the only related country not to have an investigation into the €1.3bn portfolio sale.

Mr Wallace and his colleague Clare Daly criticised Fianna Fáil for doing a U-turn on Project Eagle for now opposing a commission of inquiry having called for that nine months ago.

Fianna Fáil has already said it would be proposing an amendment to the motion to allow for the investigation into the sale to conclude.

Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the Public Accounts Committee must be allowed to examine the Comptroller and Auditor General’s review.

Mr Wallace, who has made a series of allegations about the sale in the Dáil in recent months, said that the ultimate buyer — Cerberus Capital Management — would double its money on the purchase.

Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath

Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath

Mr Wallace claimed that this would mean Nama sold Project Eagle for half what it is worth.

During his contribution, Mr Wallace said the Public Accounts Committee’s review of whether the State got value for money on the sale would not address the governance concerns.

He made accusations that Nama had not told the truth and he said he had evidence to prove it.

Responding to the criticisms, Finance Minister Michael Noonan defended Nama’s handling of the sale and said the agency had proven to be one of the great successes of Ireland’s economic recovery.

He said allegations of wrongdoing are extremely concerning and Britain had confirmed no aspect of Nama’s involvement was under investigation.

He also said that no Garda investigation is underway but he said that anyone with evidence of wrongdoing should bring it forward.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

In the Dáil, Mr Noonan said little would be gained by engaging in acommission of investigation.

However, Mr Noonan was subject to savage criticism from Independent TD Clare Daly who said a commission of investigation would assist any criminal prosecutions and said the truth will out.

“There is more dirt to come. You might think you have the numbers to get away with it, but it will come back to haunt you,” she said.

Mr Noonan dismissed Ms Daly’s demands as being from “Alice in Wonderland”.

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