Adams calls for Dáil statement by Noonan on NAMA controversy
Writing in a blog this evening Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD called on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to make a Dáil statement next week on the sale by NAMA of its northern loan portfolio to US vulture capital firm Cerberus in April 2014.
Mr Adams' call follows long running concerns by Sinn Féin about NAMA and the Cerberus deal operations and new allegations made in the Dáil on Thursday by Independent TD Mick Wallace.
The full text of Gerry Adams blog can be accessed on Gerry’s blog at largesse.blogspot.com
Writing in his blog Gerry Adams said:
“Last month the Government was forced to establish a Commission of Investigation into IBRC following widespread concerns about its activities. At the time I said similar concerns surround the operation of NAMA. NAMA has been ordered to wind up faster than its 2020 remit demands.
"Sinn Féin is concerned this may result in a firesale of assets and a failure to get full value for the taxpayer. NAMA is in the news again this week, this time over the sale of its northern loan portfolio to US vulture capital firm Cerberus in April 2014.
"The value of these loans had a value of £4.5 billion.
"The purpose of NAMA selling this loan portfolio was to recoup the losses to the Irish taxpayer who were forced to bailout the banks who lent the money in the first place. But NAMA sold the £4.5 billion of loans to Cerberus - it is alleged for only £1.5 billion. Even before this sale took place, Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty raised serious concerns about it in the Dáil with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
"Cerberus got a bargain and the people got taken for fools by the Government and the golden-circle again.
"One year on we are being told of serious concerns being experienced by local businesses in the north, many of whom were in fact ‘good’ borrowers, who agreed their repayments with NAMA before it sold off the northern portfolio, and who have yet to miss a repayment.
"Sinn Féin warned of this at the time and Cerberus promised to work with local business and gave assurances, to act in the best interests of the local economy. They also pledged not to seek quick fixes or embark on a fire sale.
"Despite these promises, Cerberus are seeking quick fixes and have embarked on a fire sale to secure the par value of the loans of £4.5 billion. This has been to the detriment of the local economy.
"Cerberus cannot come to Ireland as profiteers and not be scrutinised or held to account.
"Further allegations raised by Deputy Mick Wallace TD in the Dáil on Thursday suggest a cabal involved in insider trading and political cronyism.
"I welcome the statement from the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who has called for an intensive investigation into these allegations.
"I also welcome the decision by Daithi McKay, Sinn Féin Chair of the Assembly Finance Committee, to seek an emergency meeting of the committee to consider its response to the NAMA allegations.
"Cerberus was previously invited by the Assembly Committee to give evidence but didn’t. Daithi intends calling them again.
"He also plans to call NAMA officials and the Law Firm mentioned in the current controversy to speak to the committee, and I understand that he intends inviting Mick Wallace to appear before the committee also.
"This latest NAMA controversy underlines the need for a Commission of Investigation into the operation of NAMA.
"As a first step, and in light of the revelations and allegations over the last 24 hours it is imperative that the Minister of Finance Michael Noonan comes into the Dáil on Tuesday and makes a full statement on the handling of this sale by NAMA and states whether he is assured that the sale was value for money and not open to abuse."