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Nama scandal warrants a Commission of Investigation – McDonald

14 July, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, has called for a Commission of Investigation into the sale of the Nama loan book in the North of Ireland.

Speaking during Leader’s Questions today, Deputy McDonald said:

“Taoiseach, as with every scandal under your watch, the scale of what is going on in the secret world of Nama is only slowly emerging into the light. No information has surfaced through any action or admission by your Government or it's agencies.

“For instance, a £15 million kickback for 'fixers' involved in the original sale process for the northern loan book, was only brought to Nama's attention by a potential US buyer. One proposed recipient of this kickback was Frank Cushnahan who, incredibly, had been a member of Nama's northern advisory committee and appointed by the Minister. 

“Nama Chairman Frank Daly says that he briefed your Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in full on this scandal. Why did Minister Noonan not suspend the sale process at this stage?
Frank Daly also says Nama was fully aware that Belfast solicitors, Tughans had a very close relationship with Mr Cushnahan.

“Perhaps the most breath-taking are weekend media reports that Frank Cushnahan was a Nama debtor himself when appointed to its northern advisory committee. Nama's Chairman did not reveal this glaring conflict of interest to the PAC. Taoiseach, was Minister Noonan aware of this?

“Pimco flatly contradict the account by Frank Daly that they were asked to withdraw from the sales process initially. The entire credibility of Nama is in tatters. In a few weeks, assets held by Nama, with a par value €13 billion, are due to come to market.

“We are told that the main bidder is Cerberus - the same US vulture firm which purchased the northern loan book at a huge loss to taxpayers. Cerberus has used a network of front companies in Ireland to snap up distressed property loans. Each owns hundreds of millions worth of assets but has no employees here and, in some cases, pays no Corporation Tax.

“Taoiseach, before this next huge sale of assets proceeds, and with so many questions now hanging over Nama, will you establish a Commission of Investigation?”

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