FF demands Government probe into Nama Project Eagle sale
Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30
Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to establish a Commission of Investigation to review the controversial sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book.
The circumstances surrounding the sale of the €1.6bn Project Eagle portfolio to investment firm Cerberus in the US is currently the subject of a parliamentary and criminal investigation in the North.
The Government has so far resisted calls to hold an investigation into the sale on this side of the border.
However, the Public Accounts Committee has questioned Nama over its role in the deal.
Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath yesterday put a motion before the Dáil calling for a Commission of Investigation into the sale.
"It is essential for the integrity of the Dáil that a Commission of Investigation is established to find the truth of what happened with Project Eagle," Mr McGrath said.
"Where serious accusations are made in the Dáil, it is important that they are scrutinised to ensure they are not entirely baseless and that parliamentary privilege has not been abused.
"A Commission of Inquiry would be, above all else, an investment in the reputation of Nama and the integrity of the State and it is essential that such an investigation is established," he added.
Central to the controversy is the claim that £7m was lodged in an Isle of Man bank account by a former manager of law firm Tughans, which was involved in the sale process.
It has been claimed the money was earmarked for politicians or a political party.
It has been alleged that Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson was to benefit financially from the Nama deal.
However, Mr Robinson has vehemently denied the allegation made by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson.
"Any suggestion that a major Nama transaction has taken place in a manner which is not entirely above board must be thoroughly investigated," Mr McGrath said.
"Unless Nama is exonerated by an independent Commission of Inquiry, a question mark will hang over Nama and its entire approach. It is not sufficient for Nama to say that the sale side of the transaction was fully above board. Nama ultimately has to take responsibility for the integrity of the entire transaction," he added.