NEWS that police in Northern Ireland have launched an investigation into an alleged political pay-off of £7m in the biggest property deal in the North’s history is certain to lead to calls for a similar probe in the Republic. The deal at the centre of the hugely damaging scandal involved last year’s £1.1bn sale of assets owned by Nama to a US private equity firm, Cerberus.
This follows hot on the heels of the claim, made under Dáil privilege by independent TD Mick Wallace, that the alleged pay-off is linked to an Isle of Man bank account that was “reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or political party”.
No wrongdoing is imputed to Nama, which was set up by the Irish government to recover monies for the exchequer by selling off assets left over in the wake of the banking crisis. Like it or not, however, the scandal now unfolding in the North is bound to tarnish its reputation. A parallel Garda investigation should now be conducted south of the border.
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