Saturday 21 October 2017

Michael Noonan to be quizzed over role in sale of Nama's Project Eagle loan book

Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tony Gavin
Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tony Gavin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan will face questioning before a Commission of Investigation over his role in the controversial sale of Nama's Project Eagle loan book.

Mr Noonan has rejected criticism from the Public Accounts Committee that his meeting with the eventual successful bidders was "not procedurally appropriate".

However, under the draft terms of reference for an inquiry into the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland property portfolio, Mr Noonan and his colleagues in the Department of Finance will have to explain their decision to meet Cerberus the day before the bidding process closed.

The Commission will investigate "if decisions and actions of the Minister for Finance and the Department of Finance relating to the disposal of the Northern Ireland portfolio, including communications with members and officials of the Northern Ireland Executive, were appropriate in the circumstances."

The terms of reference, which were drafted by the Department of the Taoiseach, also call for the Commission to investigate whether it was appropriate to sell the loan book as a single asset and if the minimum price applied was appropriate.

The management of the sale and potential conflicts of interests relating to members of Nama's Northern Ireland Advisory Committee will also be investigated.

Specifically, alleged success fees to be paid former Nama advisor Frank Cushnahan will be investigated.

The Commission will report back to the Taoiseach with an interim report by the end of June

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