Saturday 3 December 2016

Martin McGuinness confirms he will attend Project Eagle Dáil committee

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

Published 22/09/2016 | 19:59

Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson
Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson

Deputy First minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness has confirmed that he will attend a Dáil committee examining Project Eagle.

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He was invited, along with former first minister Peter Robinson, to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be quizzed on the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book.

Mr Robinson has yet to confirm that he will attend.

Mr McGuinness said he has "no problem at all" appearing before the committee.

"I would like to see anyone who's invited by the committee to attend," he added but said whether or not Mr Robinson appears is "a matter for himself".

As spokeswoman for Mr Robinson's party, the DUP, said that he "isn't doing any media stuff regards Nama", when asked about the invite.

Both Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness were participants in a January 2014 phone call with Finance Minister Michael Noonan where the controversial deal was discussed.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said he hoped Mr Robinson will appear at PAC adding: "I think he should".

But he said that the probe shouldn't "fixate on the personalities of this. We need to know what happened."

PAC is examining Project Eagle after a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General for that found that Nama incurred a potential loss to the taxpayer of £190m (€223m) in the Project Eagle sale.

Nama has rejected the report claiming it’s based on an incorrect assumption of the discount rate used in the sale and that the probe was carried out by staff with no market experience of loan sales.

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