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NAMA evidence raises more questions than answers - David Cullinane TD

25 October, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford and member of the Public Accounts Committee, said today that the drip-feed of evidence from NAMA regarding the Project Eagle sale process, while frustrating, is nonetheless allowing a more complete picture to emerge of a compromised sales process.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“We have waited for weeks for NAMA to send documentation relating to the discount process for Project Eagle and today, to much fanfare, NAMA decided to give the Committee a rehashed memo of selectively quoted annual reports and non-specific research papers. It was nothing more than the same old thing. 

"We are still without a paper trail to explain the Project Eagle valuation.

"However, the committee was given another series of documents – three hours into the public meeting itself – which showed that PIMCO was not pushed but instead walked away from Project Eagle; that Ronnie Hanna, head of Asset Recovery, tried to keep them in the game; that Brown Rudnick approached PIMCO with the idea for Project Eagle; and that this appeared to happen sometime around April/May 2013.

"The paper evidence contradicts the pronouncements of Frank Daly and Brendan McDonagh before the PAC and will make for an interesting session when they return in November.

"It should be noted that the documents the Committee saw today validate the conclusions drawn by the C&AG with regard to PIMCO leaving the sales process. 

"NAMA conceded that the C&AG had no problem with the application of a market rate to Project Eagle. This has shown to be the red herring it has been all long.

"Given the ad hominen attacks that office has faced since the publication of its report into Project Eagle, today brought a sense of balance to the debate.

"Finally, the admission by Alan Stewart, Senior Divisional Solicitor, that in his opinion NAMA informed Minister Noonan of the alleged success fee payments because of possible reputational damage to NAMA shows that this was more than just a simple commercial decision. 

"Once it became a compromised process it ceased to be a purely commercial matter, and that is why the Minister was informed.

"As to why the minister then decided to do nothing, well, that is one for the Minister to answer.”

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