Business Irish

Sunday 25 June 2017

Noonan's Nama meeting criticised in Eagle report

Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Finance Minister Michael Noonan's meeting with the buyers of Nama's Project Eagle portfolio the day before the closing date for bids is set to be criticised in a report by the Public Account's Committee (PAC).

Sources said the meeting with representatives of US property firm Cerberus will be described as "not procedurally appropriate" in the PAC report, despite objections by the four Fine Gael members of the committee.

The final report, including the criticism of Mr Noonan's meeting, was passed nine votes to four during a private meeting of the committee last night. It is to be published next Tuesday.

The minister's spokesman declined to comment ahead of that publication. Mr Noonan previously rebutted criticism of the Cerberus meeting contained in a leaked working document prepared for the PAC.

He raised concerns that he was never questioned about the meeting when he appeared at the PAC and said he should have a right to reply. Mr Noonan insisted the meeting "wasn't inappropriate in any way whatsoever" and that he didn't interfere with the Nama's commercial decisions. The PAC has spent months examining Project Eagle after the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) last year found that a probable loss of £190m (€223m) was incurred in the €1.6bn sale in 2014. Nama has rejected this finding.

Irish Independent

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