Business

Sunday 24 September 2017

NAMA chiefs come face to face with their favourite (pen) pal

The story of the Waterford boy who found a message in a bottle washed up on the beach and managed to track down the Canadian girls who wrote the note eight years ago is a reminder of a gentler age, the era of pen pals and of long waits for a response to letters.

How apt then, that this week also saw Nama's Frank Daly and Brendan McDonagh get a rare chance to meet their number one correspondent, Pearse Doherty of Sinn Fein.

You see, as Nama well knows, Mr Doherty tends not to hang around waiting for the all-too-rare opportunities TDs get to quiz the team managing the state's €30bn property portfolio in person.

When the Donegal man has a question for Nama, he prefers to put pen to paper in the form of written parliamentary questions.

Questions

And he has plenty of questions. By The Punt's reckoning, Mr Doherty's stream of written parliamentary questions on the subject of Nama is now running into the hundreds.

The queries have probed the most arcane, sometimes the most banal aspects of the agency's work, though the answers rarely do more than scratch the surface.

That is no fault of Nama, of course. Their answers to the parliamentary questions are routed through the Department of Finance.

Indeed, the Punt has no doubt at all that the highlight of last night's session for Frank and Brendan was the opportunity to meet their favourite pen pal, face to face, one more time.

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