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Project Eagle Commission of Investigation should be established immediately - Adams

29 June, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during a private members’ motion in the Dáil this evening has said that serious allegations have been made in relation to the sale and purchase of NAMA’s Northern loan book, Project Eagle, and that a Commission of Investigation should be established immediately to examine the allegations. 

Teachta Adams said;

“For years now, Sinn Féin have been raising concerns about the sale of NAMA's loan books, particularly the sale and purchase process of its Northern loan book Project Eagle.

“Three times in the last three weeks, I have called for the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into Project Eagle in this chamber and I’m glad to see a motion to that effect before the Dáil. 

“The sale and purchase process of Project Eagle are the subject of serious allegations. 

“NAMA's Chairman, Frank Daly said he briefed Minister Noonan in full on all of these matters, including in relation to the alleged payment of fixers fees, which are totally irregular, and illegal.

“The Minister has accepted this, but he failed to suspend the Project Eagle sale process, or inform the Office of First and deputy First Ministers. He has never given an explanation for this, so it remains unclear why he did not intervene by exercising his general powers of direction over NAMA to suspend the sales process until these matters were investigated.

“There are ongoing investigations in the North by the NCA, the Law Society and Revenue, and there was the Assembly inquiry, which found the Government’s approach very unhelpful. There are also investigations ongoing in the US by the Security Exchange Commission, the FBI and other authorities. Yet, we have not had an investigation in this State.

“NAMA has been handling billions of euros of the people's money and it should be accountable. 

“In October, Fianna Fáil’s Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath said ‘there is no room whatsoever for any question marks when we talk about the sale of a €5 billion State asset’. He went on to say ‘it was essential for the integrity of the Dáil that a Commission be established to find the truth of what happened with Project Eagle’. 

“Then just two weeks ago, the Fianna Fáil Leader described the Government’s position on Project Eagle as untenable, yet despite a number of requests directly from me, Fianna Fáil won’t now support the establishment of an investigation. It is bizarre behaviour, which is explained only by their desire to keep Fine Gael in power.

“This is another Fianna Fáil U-turn to take the pressure off their Fine Gael partners and to deny the Dáil its right to hold the Government to account. I would appeal to them to reconsider their refusal to support this motion.” ENDS

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